Tuesday, September 13, 2005

W - E - I - R - D (but wonderful)

I don't quite know what to say about this, but I have to say something; so here goes.

Three years ago, while at the Summer School for Liturgical Music in Jordanville, NY, I took a bad fall down a flight of stairs. Incredibly, I didn't get that badly banged up; I got a chip fracture in my right wrist (the one I write with, naturally), and my knee, which took the brunt of the fall, actually didn't break, though it was terrifically swollen and painful for about a year. X-rays didn't show any damage, though, so no one has ever done anything about it.

People were kindness itself to me when I fell. The Summer School Director and his wife put in a lot of time running me to the hospital for checkups; the students fell all over themselves trying to make my life easier; blessings particularly on the guy who took me to the hospital the night I fell, and ended up missing dinner because of me. There was also a kindly babushka who belongs to the parish who gave me a bottle of oil from the tomb of St. John of San Francisco.

Except that over the past three years, walking has become increasingly difficult. There were some other side issues with my right foot, now thankfully resolved, but three years later, I still have three lumps in my knee, one in front and two on the side, and off and on, they really bother me. I still can't kneel at all, which is real interesting during Lent and confession, but even more interesting when trying to clean around the house.

Last week sometime, I managed to do something to this knee, twist it or something, in a way that made it extremely painful to get around. I limped through my household chores on Saturday, and managed to stand aright in church on Sunday by hanging on for dear life to the music stand in the choir loft; but when I woke up yesterday, and the pain was still with me, I didn't know what to do. Going to the doctor is not an option; I've been trying to get a doctor to look at this thing for three years, and no one wants to bother. (New Hampshire must be where they send all the bottom-of-the-barrel med-school graduates.) As I finished my prayers yesterday, having trouble standing and getting to my feet during those, too, I growled, "All right, enough is enough," and reaching for the little bottle of oil that the kindly babushka had given me three years ago, I dabbed a little on my index and middle fingers and smoothed it all over my knee.

And it hasn't given me any trouble since.

OK, why am I so surprised? I mean, what did I expect? Why did I rub this stuff on, if I didn't expect it to work? I guess...because things like this happen to other people, but not, as a rule, to me. I guess I still can't get over the fact that when something is hurting me, that actually matters to God, He actually cares enough to do something about it. With the exception of my husband, this never happens in my life. The point of my existence is to take care of other people, not to be taken care of; so even though I know He cares, in a general God-loves-everybody sort of way, it still takes me by surprise that He notices, that He reaches out a healing finger.... Yeah, that He kisses my boo-boo.

What would He not do if I weren't afraid to ask Him, because dammit, I still Don't Want to "Bother" God.


Philippa said...

Definitely NOT weird! I think you should tell your priest.

A woman at church had a lump on her thyroid which was revealed by ultrasound. The doc said they'd watch it. She just had it scanned again. No lump. None. Not at all. The doc compared the two scans. Nada. Zip. Zilch. His comment, "I can't explain it." I told the woman, "I hope you did!" She lit a candle and prayed about it.

God is truly amazing and wonderful. Why I don't trust that is beyond me. I believe it for others but not for myself.

Meg said...

Amazing, how that works. I don't know how you build up that trust. I mean, I've had nearly 40 years' worth of experience with God's direct intervention in my life, you'd think I'd have gotten the message by now! But no, every time it surprises me and reduces me to tears.

My favorite story out of Jordanville.... Well, I'll post that on another entry.

Catrin said...

Thanks for posting these stories, they are wonderful! Meg, I am glad to hear that you have finally got relief from that knee.

I think that, for converts from this country especially, it is difficult to make that leap to healings from icons and holy oils, etc. Much of protestant Christianity in this culture has fallen into the trap of considering the material world fallen and impossible for God to use to intervene for our behalfs.

That is why I think it is even more important to share such stories in appropiate places :)