Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Spiritual Wake Up Call

I woke up slowly and grumpy. I am still sick and I am very tired of it. My first deed upon waking was to feel my face--Has the swelling reached my eye? Did I wake because my face hurts? Way too much me-thinking. Looking out the window I saw one of my barn cats working hard in the field looking for her breakfast. I watched her briefly. Although the sight was not enough to jolt me out of my mump, I did check the nearby areas for Hopalong, the sterk hobbling around on three legs. He was lame when we bought him, apparently a long time injury. My husband and the farmer who sold him in this condition came to a good accord, and Hopalong the sterk (last year we had Hopalong the lamb in the same field) is in this quiet, grassy paddock in the hopes that the good grass, fresh air, and open spaces will give him room to heal. I watch him several times a day to see how he progresses.

Gnomie, the hard working cat, and Hopalong, the lame sterk, both register on my consciousness and my concern, but I am still in my self-imposed, feeling sorry for myself mode.

And then I get a 4-alarm spiritual wake up call. A friend emails saying that he and his wife are going with their church back to Gulfport, Mississippi because even now many of those folks are still without a house, a church, or the basic necessities of everyday living. I am swamped with guilt, gratitutde, pain, and hopefulness, all in very short order.

I remembered crying long hot tears as I watched the news of the hurricane that hit New Orleans and left so many people dead, sick, or despairing. I was devastated with the particular helplessness of an ex pat: "What have they done to my country?" I am one of those folks who believes that Hope, the last thing to come out of Pandora's box, is the balm for all the other ills. But Hope, like all things with wings, is fragile. In Russ's email message, I feel hope struggling to fly: his own hopes, those of his church work mates, and those of the people that he wants to help.

I do my best to help him as my own hope limps off the landing pad. I do believe that a handful of people can work miracles. Despite the storm and the hobbled bureaucracy, some people will be given the gift of four walls and, maybe, just, maybe, enough hope to make a home and a community. I send an email encouragement to my friend and his colleagues, I give thanks for the opportunity to have friends like that in my life, and to have been given a wake up call just when my own spirit was collapsing in on itself. I will get dressed today, tuck my antivirals in my pocket, and go out in the sunshine and remember to count all my many blessings.

Here's the link to my friend's blog about the volunteer experience if you want to send some encouragement to them: .


At 11:10 AM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

I appreciate your broad perspective, deep emotions, and deep sympathy for others.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Thanks, ampiggy--you of the golden heart!

At 6:41 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

I can't see your post with your poem. Oh, but your tears for the New Orleans refugees shows you have a bigger heart than I do!

At 8:33 PM, Blogger ZACL said...

Oh dear you seem to have got one of the worst bugs going around. A member of the family had it last month, it laid her very low and with larger than large glands and swollen face too. I does disappear, I promise you, it just takes a little time and a bit of TLC

The dispossessed and displaced people of this world are so brave, in many instances they have no choice but to be so. It is hard to believe that in a country as rich as the USA this distress is allowed to run and run. Your friends and people like your friends can make a difference.

At 3:12 AM, Blogger Hayden said...

Enough me-thinking, not too much. Self-preservation is a law. Shingles in the eye is nothing to toy with.

Nice, in the midst of that misery, to have the critters to observe.

And why is it that no matter how full the heart, it always stretches to encompass more?

At 11:31 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Hayden and Zacl, forgive my being slow to repsond. We had a cable unplugged that caused the internet to elude us.

The new pain pill I'm taking helped me figure out just how much my face had been hurting. "Nerve pain," as the doctor said, is "different." Alas, this very effective little pill turns me into a zombie.


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