Thank you (again), Carrie Newcomer for your new song "Abide." The melody follows the lead of the words and the notion of the gift of being in it with someone who knows your story and cares about you. Deeply. There is an entering in that happens when we risk opening our hearts to another for this life journey that we're on:
"Let us ponder the unknown, what is hidden and what's whole...and finally learn to travel at the speed of our own soul." It's not always easy. It rarely is easy when it comes down to it.
Healing well from the March 13th sinus surgery. I truly feel so much better. I've been trying to remember what my "new normal" is. So these past couple of weeks I've been trying to do one of my favorite things - walking. For me walking is praying and listening; it's observing and and remembering. Whether I'm listening to Phil Collins or Jimmy Buffett or the Braves on the radio. It's one of my favorite ways of enjoying the passing time. As I've begun walking again, I've been aware that in addition to not having the stamina I've had in the past, I had developed a limp. Right knee. My 2002 torn (and repaired) meniscus knee.
So imagine my shock (shock, I tell you) when I went to the Orthopedic doc this morning to request some really cool gel they've developed to help cushion the knee cartilage. Imagine my true disappointment when, after looking at the x-rays, she shook her head and said those two famous words: "knee placement." Sooner rather than later (read: 4-5 months).
Ah, come on.
Linda just shook her head when I told her and she started reviewing the vows from our service: "better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health..." Growing older is a privilege. Many of us know it in our spirits most days, but it's not that often the notion works her way into our heads. And even in the midst of these growing-up and growing-older days, I am trying to breathe it all in.
These past months have been teaching me about thankfulness. I've learned several lessons I never expected about vulnerability. I've been so very much aware of the privilege of healthcare insurance. But/and there comes a time when you wonder: is this how it's gonna be...this medical gift leading to the next and then next.
(maybe I've just had a long day...)
Days like today stop me in my limping tracks. And as I am catching my breath I wonder about the gift of traveling at the speed of my soul. Can I transform ways I've been moving into ways I'm choosing to, as opposed to reacting to? Is it possible? Is it life-giving? Is there any other authentic way to make our way through these tender days of holding on and letting go?
All of what's next is unknown. We can plan for and work toward and pray with ~ but it's unknown. I am grateful to Carrie for giving me this compass for this day and for tomorrow. I am grateful for companions along the way who I know will "Abide." Deep breath in, deep breath out (and repeat).
Working as a Hospice Chaplain, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.