Comforting the Downcast

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
~Psalm 13

I have been drawn back to this psalm again and again over the last few months. It gives me words when I am emptied of them, when I need to cry out but don’t know what to say. It was tough to rise from bed this morning. Since the stay in the hospital, things have become worse. I’ve fallen or collapsed more often, possibly even damaging my tailbone when I hit the floor twice within a few minutes. I am in pain and still have trouble walking. It’s hard to eat, and sometimes, I’ve forced myself to do so. Pain in my stomach and head make it hard to work. Continue reading “Comforting the Downcast”

Writing on Weakness and a Hospital Stay

It’s been hard to write lately.

When I poise my fingers over the keyboard, I squint, trying to focus on individual letters. Instead, words swim in front of me. Sometimes, my hands weaken, and I can barely move my fingers. My typing speed is slower than usual.

Sitting upright, bookcases drift right and left, and the kitchen table jolts backwards and forwards. I feel nauseous.

I try standing, but sometimes, I need help to rise from the couch. Walking means lilting to one side, crashing into door frames, stumbling, losing sense of reality, and nearly pitching headfirst into the side of the car.

I briefly tried medication, but it sent me into a mental spin, and I couldn’t make it past the first hymn last Sunday morning. We left the assembly and drove home.

I’ve barely driven for the last month and a half, relinquishing the steering wheel after dizziness advanced so suddenly during one trip to town that I couldn’t see the road. I pushed myself to drive through the woods to a safe pull-off overlooking the West Union Covered Bridge and sat in the shade for 45 minutes, nervously scrolling through Twitter to take my mind off of what had just happened.

After a month of this, double vision set in. Mysterious leg pain I’d previously attributed to wearing old work boots crept in again. I was convinced to go to the emergency room.

There, a bomb dropped: “We’re looking at M.S.” Continue reading “Writing on Weakness and a Hospital Stay”

Comic Relief in the Greatest Story Ever Told

Comic Relief in the Greatest Story Ever Told

Every story has an arc.

The arc begins with an introduction of the story’s characters, place, and time. As it curves upward, we discover hopes and desires and challenges to those hopes and desires. A conflict is created. The conflict rises to a climax, and then the story falls to a resolution.

Along the way are literary elements such as hyperbole, imagery, theme, and comic relief.

These are found in The Greatest Story Ever Told, the climax and resolution of which we remember every Easter.  Continue reading “Comic Relief in the Greatest Story Ever Told”