Same but Different

So tonight I decided to get my son back outside for a bit. It’s funny how everything can become so terrifying. I used to walk him almost every evening. There is a nice paved walkway in a frisbee golf park behind the house. It’s pretty much a mile from my door, through the park and back so it makes for a nice little walk. Since he got sick back in November I have been so nervous about getting him out but tonight I figured we both needed a little “fresh air therapy.” We’ve been locked up in the house this week.

It was really a nice walk, it was still a little warm but there was a nice breeze blowing. I enjoyed the breeze, Chris not so much. Hopefully he will get used to it – we live in Oklahoma so he’s going to have to! We only saw about three people while we were walking. My mind can race and it sure did tonight. I noticed why each person “appeared” to be there. My assumptions of course can be wrong, but hey – it was my imagination. Anyway. One young man was exercising his dog, another lady was pushing a stroller and the other person was walking – my guess is to lose weight – but again it’s only an assumption.

The young man passed us twice since it’s an out-and-back route. Both times he spoke in a friendly manner, without actually generating any conversation. The lady with the stroller looked the other way as we passed by while she was sitting on the bench. And the other lady at least nodded in our direction. I started thinking that it seemed we were all in the same place, at the same time but with entirely different agendas. We used the same park, at the same temperature, dealt with the same wind and walked on the same pavement. But all of our motives and purposes were entirely different. I began to feel very disconnected. To them. To others. In life.

I realized the park scenario was very parallel to how I feel in general. I’m in this world, walking through life with a lot of people doing the exact same thing – but we are so disconnected. Our worlds do not overlap. I go my way (on the same path) and everyone else does the same. It can be so easy to get caught up in what I have to do that I do not have any regard for anyone else on life’s path. It can be so easy to live for the moment – and live in our own little worlds without thinking about others at all. I did a devotion called “Quietly Discarded” that kind of makes that point and talks about being politely ignored. I guess the lady on the bench got me to thinking about it. But we really get that a lot – people really do not know what to do with us – we don’t look like the typical picture of life and so it’s easier to ignore than to look at the “ugly” parts of life.

In many ways I feel like I just don’t belong in life’s picture. I’m here along with everyone else – but my walk is not like anyone else’s. It’s funny because we can all say that really. But I feel the disconnect from “normal.” At first, I feel angry about that. I get mad that I have gotten used to pushing my son everywhere in a wheelchair and learned how to navigate it through tight spots like most stores. You should see me at the grocery store, I’ve done quite well. I can push Chris with one hand and pull a cart with the other. We make a nice little train. But it makes me mad that I have to adjust to that. Tonight I was mad that we were different. I missed my son walking and talking with me. We had coffee together today – he drank a little – I drank a lot. But I remembered sitting on the porch with him literally for hours as we discussed God and church from many angles. We could dissect scripture and talk for hours only to realize we had no real solutions while we went through pots of coffee. I miss that. That’s when I get upset and start a horrible downward emotional spiral. I’m learning to catch myself.

So tonight I had to choose once again to forgive. And I chose to be thankful -for many things. One is that Chris is still breathing for as long as there is breath there is hope of better days. I get really frustrated when he does not respond favorably – on days like today. But I have to keep pushing on, moving my feet and trying. People keep telling me how strong I am but on days like today I feel so vulnerable and weak. I’m reminded of a scripture which helps me refocus my energy and efforts on the things that matter:

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties,

for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:9-10) NASB

 

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