For the past week I have been fighting off a nasty virus. Now, before you all panic, it is just a nasty cold that my daughter shared with my youngest son, who lovingly shared it with me. I do not have Coronavirus, but have been doing my part to ensure this cold is not shared with my friends and colleagues by staying at home.
I can now declare that I am not at all satisfied with this situation. I hate being stuck at home, especially when I am sick. I am an extrovert who likes being around people – even if I need to be 2 metres away from them I can still talk and laugh and have my energy levels restored.
Speaking of energy, in these past 7 days I have now spent 2 whole days in bed (which I HATE doing) as well as at least one hour every day having a little lie down. I feel weak and slack for resting, even though it seems to be what my body is crying out for. There is so much my mind wants me to do, but my body isn’t up to it at the moment.
Also, I am not great at allowing others to do things for me. Being the nurturer is MY job and so I find it difficult when those I love have to step up and do it for me. My lovely husband has been cooking the evening meals for us and I appreciate not even having to think about food, but I feel guilty that he is needing to live out the ‘in sickness’ part of our vows.
This post isn’t about generating a giant virtual pity party (because we can’t hold a face to face one at the moment!!) but to recognise there are some significant flaws in my thinking. If any of my employees or volunteers came to me saying they were feeling unwell I would immediately give permission for them to head home to rest and recover, as that is absolutely the best place for them to be.
If they told me they couldn’t seem to do much more than rest I would reassure them to listen to their body because it is obviously trying to tell them something.
If they spoke of their feelings of guilt for not being able to fulfil their role in the workplace or family I would remind them that there are those who are willing to love and support them in these practical ways and that this is not the time for guilt, but appreciation.
So why can I not extend this same grace to myself? Somehow the rules that I apply to others are not the same for me. I get super frustrated when I can’t do all I want to do and I push myself when not completely better, which sets me back a few more days! All I want is to be well again. This is my response to a cold. Imagine me with a chronic illness of some sort. I would be unbearable!
This has reminded me of the fact that Jesus understood what it was like to be sick because he spent a great deal of time when he was on earth healing people from their ailments. Not too many mentions of a cold, but there were a few fevers, some blindness, some paralysis, some bleeding and even some who were dead! Jesus wanted people to be able to live life to the full (John10:10), not weighed down with ailments that made them less able in the eyes of society.
So now, no matter how long it is going to take me to get back to full health, I will allow my body and my mind to rest and recover, and contemplate how lucky I really am in my life. I will ask Jesus to help restore me so I can live life to the full. I also plan to pray for those I know who are unwell, and ask Jesus to heal them body, mind and soul.