Twenty years ago I fell on some rocks at the ocean in California where we were living at the time. As fate would have it – I broke my fall with my strong side – and my strong hand and arm. My hand was so painful by the next morning I couldn’t move it and had to go to the doctor – who rushed me into x-ray where the technicians move your already injured hand in twisted and contorted positions to get a proper ‘read’. Ouch. Anyway it was determined that a tiny bone was broken and they put me in a cast up to my elbow. I had to wear the stupid thing for 6 weeks – and at the time Greg was pastoring a small church and I was the ONLY one to play piano. Needless to say – we went acappella for all that time I was out of commission. It was terribly pesky – I couldn’t write or anything – even eating was hard – I can’t do anything well with my left hand.
Several years ago I fell down some cement steps at our church – on a Sunday morning. It was very embarrassing and painful too. I ended up going to the doctor and found that I had broken my foot. And as fate would have it – it was my right foot, which meant that I couldn’t drive a car – or push the sustain pedal down for the piano – not sure which was worse, being that I am a music teacher and accompany my voice students – it is part of what I do each day. Driving – playing piano with the pedal – it was a toss-up. And to add even more drama – Greg was doing some remodelling in our home at the time – putting wood stairs and railings to our 2 story entry way of our house – so during the time of my ‘infirmity’ there was NO RAILING for the stairs and I literally had to hug the wall coming down from the bedroom to the first floor of our home every time I went back and forth. It must have looked HILARIOUS to anyone watching. I felt completely handicapped and miserable – didn’t think I’d ever have a normal foot again – and in fact when I would take the ‘boot’ off to shower or to sleep – I was so glad to put in back on again – as I would have the protection – and was afraid of being injured again – my foot was SO tender.
While I was in this injured state – Greg drove me to the grocery store one day. We parked the car and Greg came around to get me and walk me in. There was a cross-walk directing in front of one of the entrances and we needed to wait for the cars – or have them wait for us – whichever was the case at the time. When it was clear we started across very slowly. A car that was stopped and now waiting for us to get safely across – and this was now visible to my dear husband. If you know my husband you know that he is the most gracious man in the world – does not have an enemy and always tries to do the right thing. He is generous to a fault and would never want to inconvenience anyone. And so this car having to ‘wait’ for us really bothered him – and he proceeded to drag me across the intersection. Looking back – it must have been hilarious to onlookers. But at the time – I was NOT amused. After all folks – I was handicapped – and I thought to myself, ‘let them wait’!
It is different to each of us – depending on how you look at it.
And so it is with each of us on this journey – called life. Some are gracious – some are impatient – some let life pass them by – some wonder what happened.
I no longer have to wear that cast or boot and I’m glad that I am not ‘handicapped’ anymore. At least in the obvious physical way – we all have our internal disabilities that no one sees. The part that is just between us and God. And those physical limitations are always going to be there – especially the older I get. My shoulders, neck and back are not what they used to be and because I carry all my stress there – during a production week like this one – I struggle all week-long – not to feel handicapped – but to feel normal. Hmmm – what is normal?
But normal is relative too – depending on how you look at it. 😉