It's been six weeks since I careened over the mountain edge, spent a whole day lying in the hospital, waiting to be put back together.
And in that wait they gave me oxygen, so I wouldn't hyperventilate; laughing gas, to relieve my brain in the throbbing onslaught; then morphine to dull everything except its own set of reaction pains. And finally, a sedative, clawing up my wrist till it blackened my cognizance—all these inhaled, injected, dripped into my circulating body. And they are gifts.
Joint re-hinged, they put swollen limb in a fabric sling, just for a day or so. Elbow turns into water balloon, and sleep comes light as I try to hold still. My landlady, who doubles as spiritual grandmother, pins my hair back in the morning (bobby pins do NOT work with one hand). And it is a gift.
Beau stays with me all day in hospital, then takes the next day off to help me buy groceries and fill anti-inflammatory prescription. Not a coincidence that we're shopping the first Tuesday of the month, and save 15%.
My office landlord extends grace, and chooses gratitude for the timing of it all. It's no coincidence that the secretary goes on holidays and he needs a fill-in right when I'm unable to work my job. And I'm humbled, and fairly cry when he tells me he won't charge me rent this month. And he'll pay me more than we bargained on. And telling the happy news helps me share the gift, and the joy.
And the . . . pain of healing, the humiliating time it takes. Is this too, a gift? Sharp knife telling me when I've pushed too far; protective spasm and scar tissue needing released; the exercises and grimaces and tears. The wondering if I will ever regain movement, or if I will always have a gimped wing; looking with longing at people who can tuck hair behind ear, brush teeth, carry babies with their arm . . . do they have any idea of the GIFT they carry in a functional limb? And the thought that mine could heal, is designed to heal, that I have this hope of recovery. Some people don’t.
The perpetually truant ambulance bill, making me wonder if I would receive one at all. And it’s no coincidence that I’m back to work for three weeks and finish a massive contract job before the invoice arrives in my mailbox. And it is a gift.
Clients who wait for me to return, welcome me back, cheer me on, even when they wince under my renewing strength: these are presents from my loving God. Longstanding projects scratched forever off my to-do list in the few days I have completely off leave me feeling light.
And this wait of hope, this is a gift. I think of the tastes of resurrection power I can feast on, in these appetizers of God’s grace, these morsels of tender love, these party favour GIFTS of mercy. And I wonder how the giving of thanks, instead of the begrudging of obvious, humiliating need, is in itself, a gift.
And I thank the Giver, Who wraps treasures in elbow slings.
Some photos from Google images