There are times when my illness hurts my heart just as sharply as it affects my body. I experience an emotional pang on the inside. It rises when I am brought face to face with my limitations. And it feels as if I’m looking out on the world from behind a thick hedge. It doesn’t happen often but it stings, nevertheless.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of our young grandson visiting us for a few hours. I had worried in advance because I thought he might get bored in our rather sedentary company, and we might struggle to entertain him.
The rest of the week had been very physically active for him as he went out and about with his granny, aunt and cousins. But I needn’t have feared. God ensured that time with us would be a welcome quiet breather in his otherwise hectic schedule. It flew by and we loved it all.
And yet, when I heard about his earlier exploits, the heart wound of inadequacy became freshly opened. I mourned my lack of physical health and strength, and in doing so I nearly failed to savour the strong bond we have with him. It’s no less real or important for being different.
Fatigue and pain are high today and I didn’t think I could write anything. Until I flicked through my files and found this here’s-one-I-made-earlier poem, which seemed perfect to share.
It doesn’t feel like much, this tiny
offering she brings, a small seed sown
for the one who is known as King of kings.
And her heart contracts, flutters a bit,
because it just can’t be enough, can it?
All she has to give to him is broken sleep
and broken dreams, a weakened body,
weary and sick, where deformity sits.
She has no riches, no wealth, no treasure
to share, nothing tangible, just herself
and the pain and stiffness she bears.
Yet she hears a voice calling her forward,
gently encouraging her to walk toward
him with ungainly feet and aching limbs.
And he lifts her chin, smiles into her downcast
face and draws her into a loving embrace.
Rest here, my child, rest your heart and mind
and rest assured I receive your tears like they
are ocean-drawn gifts and precious pearls.
I know how much your heart aches to bring
me a suitable offering, and longs to have
a different kind of existence to be living.
All I ask from you is that you believe who I
AM and open your heart to receive all the gifts
I delight to pour into your soul’s reservoirs.
Your brokenness is a great gift to me, because
I work best within an open, contrite heart
and a surrendered soul, just as you are.
“God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress.” – Psalms 48:3 (NIV)
Friends, let’s try to remember that our inadequacy is no match for God’s grace. He fills our insufficient souls with His equipping presence and love. He gives us strength when we feel weak. He holds us close when we are hurting.
We don’t need to drown in discouragement, only rest in the One who knits us back together again. God alone can heal what is broken and wounded in us, including our thoughts.