Recent photo of my parents in my office

Recent photo of my parents in my office

December 29, 2007

The Joy of Boredom

In the past week, I have seen a progressive improvement in my strength and health. At the same time, the recovery is certainly not complete, so I have to measure my activity carefully. But I've been able to work from the College office and from my home computer each day for 1-2 hours. It feels so good to get out, to be mobile, and to see some progress being made on major tasks. What hope, what joy! Life is still grabbing hold of me (and I of it!) I weep each day as I recognize how dependent I am on God as a source, literally of the power to be, and how gracious he is to be present and faithful to me while in pain.

I mentioned this in the last blog, I think, but just as a reminder (even to myself), my pain comes mostly in sitting in the 1/2 hour before I'm due for pain medication; and in ways my lower back can make it hard for me to find a place to lie in bed. But, another reason for praise, that is progressively easier. I've learned some creative ways to use pillows (never thought I could use so many!) that have helped me truly sleep.

I also have great limits on walking, due to the blood clot in my right leg. Each day, it shrinks as the clot dissolves and the circulation system is restored. But I have to wear a very tight pair of hose to support my legs from pooling fluid. That makes me walk more slowly. Honestly, together with the pain of sitting (say, at a restaurant), walking remains the most restrictive limit on my activity.

Hence, my title, "The Joy of Boredom." I have some wonderful classical music to listen to, some great periodicals and books to read, DVDs and videos to view, and some TV shows. I've especially enjoyed mostly Wheaton College TV rebroadcasts, since other materials are quite trivial and meaningless, unless they're documentaries. At the same time, while I'm reaching out for new things to keep me stimulated, I long for the freedom to see people, to gather with friends, to be open in conversation and mutual sharing.

In this regard, I think I already mentioned how much I've come to love the way that my father and I can pray Morning Prayer and then Compline together. It is time more fulfilling than I've yet had with him in my life. We actually never connected -- he the sports fan, I the reader and classical music lover. But in this season of suffering, his love and tenderness has come shining through. Thank the Lord for my parents being here. I wouldn't have made it without them.

And I can't stop without mentioning my mother: great conversations, daily shots and medications, freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices with the right add-ons from alternative medicines, three meals a day that are almost all vegetarian or at least balanced with the appropriate amount of meat like chicken or fish, help with showering and dressing, washing and ironing my clothes -- the list goes on and on.

I'm am incredibly blessed. I can barely imagine the riches at the end of each day. That awakens within me the hope of God's ongoing intention for me. I heard him say a couple days ago, "Do not fail to believe in the promises I have given you, for I will be faithful. I am healing you day by day, and though it may seem slow at times, you are not in control. You cannot do this. Trust in me, and I will lead you day by day."

So that's what I'm trying to do. It isn't easy, even when the hospital news may seem good. The greater reality is that the hospital and the doctor are not ultimately in charge, though their human wisdom is great.

And through that, my heart is most thrilled with the possibility of once again being a blessing to others, whether through writing, speaking, teaching, or leading in music. For there is nothing more beautiful than the house of the Lord, and abiding in his presence.

May we all find that by beholding the beauty of the Lord, we will be transformed day by day into creatures who are both more human and more reflective of the divine image.

Blessings to you all,

John

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

John--
What a delight it is to read your blog and to witness God's continued renewal in your mind, body and spirit! We pray with you for God's continued healing presence and the fulfillment of all He has promised....

With love and friendship--
Sandy (aka "duder") :)

Anonymous said...

John,

Thank you for faithfully receiving God's grace, and for offering it as a gift to others, through this blog. Your writing rings with poetic craft and prophetic power. Keep fighting the good fight.

With much prayer and hope,

Jeff Davis

Susan said...

Hi John, It has been a great spiritual encouragement to read your blogs and Margie's blogs. Also this year God arranged for my aunt to come live near us in Chicago and as she has much in common with you as regards the pain, it is very helpful for me to see your perspective in order to understand her better.