It's not the pain. Pain I can deal with. And to be honest, there really isn't too much of that. It's the implications. It's the unexpectedness of it all. To be prepared to hear that one thing was happening to me, and to find out it is quite another. Well, it catches you a bit off guard.
(Let me add, there is no need to worry on your part. It is, as I say, serious but not major. But if you have a spare moment, I appreciate a special thought. )
It happens all the time. Life moves in a certain direction, and then the cell phone rings at 2 a.m., and it fundamentally changes. A boy dies tragically, and towns, cities, states and countries begin a different dialogue.
I have said before that the Joseph is the figure in the nativity story that most fascinates me. He had to deal with that unexpected call too. He dreamt an angel came to him and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” The situation was no less problematic when he awoke, but he had a different way of seeing: they would call the child Immanuel: God with us.
Right now, my plate feels pretty full. There are myriad changes coming my way. Some good, Some, well, I don't know. But they are coming. Nobody gets to go back. Nobody gets to know what happens next.
What we can trust is that God is with us.
I am not one who sees illness as punishment. I do not interpret events that occur as divine retribution. I see it as living. And I am okay with that.
In a larger perspective, what I am facing is nothing compared to what so many deal with on a regular basis. Yet part of what matters most about the Incarnation, about Jesus being born in a small stable behind a small inn in an insignificant little village is the larger perspective only makes sense when we let ourselves truly feel the pain and grief and loss that makes up our little lives just like Joseph, for then we can hear the angel say, “Don’t be afraid.”
Immanual! God with us!