pooped on

Earlier today I was walking back from my car and a bird pooped right on top of my head.Besides the fact that it was disgusting and that I had to drive the 20 minutes back home with it in my hair before I could shower, it sums up how I have been feeling. Pooped on.
Since Tess was born, our house has been one kind of sick or another. Mostly Owen. Yesterday we went to see the dr. with what I thought were hives or poison ivy and walked out with a shingles diagnosis. Shingles? Besides and icky oozy red rash over a good part of his face and head ( why not an arm or leg or something we could cover up?) he doesn’t seem to be too affected. Until he sees the neighbors playing outside, or I won’t let him touch Tess or even hold hands at the dinner table to pray. Kids with shingles can’t really give other people shingles……but they can pass on chicken pox. A vaccine that Tess is still too young for. So now we cross our fingers and pray that O’s rash crusts over quickly ( it takes 7-10 days) and that he does not share it with Tess.

Yesterday, before the doctor, I was up beat. I had a new haircut, a four day weekend ahead of me and no one has had to stay home sick in almost 2 weeks. It had been an extra rough week at work and I was just starting to shake myself off.
And then boom. Shingles. Pushed right back down again.

Yes, I know in perspective this is all really small survivable stuff. But it is wearing me out. I am tired of going to the doctor. I am tired of worrying that there is something terribly wrong with my son. I am tired of being afraid that someone else will get it. I am tired of not getting enough sleep. I am tired of trying to figure out who is going to stay home with one or more of my sick children. I am tired of my stomach hurting.

I desperately need a break. Each time I think this has to be it. We made it through the flu, and strep and pneumonia and stomach bugs and ear infections. This really has to be it. Things have to be looking up for us. But this time, my usually half full glass is feeling really empty.

I want to ignore my life and just go crawl in bed for a day. Rest up and then try again. But there is not time for that. Instead I go on about my business and try to entertain my in-laws ( who I also hope don’t get chicken pox or shingles) in the process. One of my weekend plans involved going with my Sunday School class to feed the homeless at a Spring Celebration at a park in downtown Ft. Worth. I came up with dozens of practical reasons not to go. Shaun’s parents were in town. I have a sick kid at home. But I got up and went anyways. Hoping that a dose of perspective would make me forget about my own woes for a little while.

Honestly and selfishly, that means that I was hoping that feeding homeless people for a few hours would make me feel better about myself. That ladeling out tuna casserole to a bunch of people with way bigger problems than me would snap me out of my fog.

The potential for that was there. There were hundreds of people waiting around in the park. They were dirty and hungry and yes, way worse off than me. Somehow this did not seem to cheer me up.

Instead I milled around slightly uncomfortably. I tried to chat up a few people but it felt a little forced. I poured coffee and smiled. I pet some puppies. I gave out a few Easter eggs. I attempted conversations with people who mostly just wanted to talk to themselves. Somewhere along the way I stopped waiting to feel better and actually started serving. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t do much. In honor of the Easter holiday volunteers were out in full force. I stood by the food and passed out a few plates. I forgot about the pit in my stomach and wondered how the single pot of green beans had not run out. Hundreds of people had been through this line. Some multiple times. And there was always more. I think I started smiling. God was so amazingly good.

Joy does not come from things going well or even looking up. Joy does not come from being better off than people around us. Joy does not come from giving up your Saturday morning to feed the homeless. Joy comes from God and how he chooses to reveal himself. Even if that is in a pot of green beans.


spaghettipie said...

I love you - your transparency, your writing, your humor, your loyalty . . . truly you are one of my most treasured friends.

Thanks for sharing such an amazing message on a glorious day that sometimes gets lost in the egg hunt.

Sars said...

The Green Bean Gospel, eh? I like it. Sending prayers your way right now while we watch Dora.

cdub said...

Well good grief. I could have bought you a cup of coffee the other day had I known all that.

Thanks for sharing. Here's hoping you find some unexpected joy this week. :)