In the midst of everything else going on this week, our little Mercy woke up crying and convulsing in pain last night. It didn’t take long to realize that whatever bug she has had the last two weeks had evolved into an ear infection, and so she and her daddy made the middle of the night trip to the ER which in L.A. is no small thing. It is always a gamble which hospital to try: do you want the five hour wait or the ten…? We are scheduled to fly to Denver early Friday morning and I am worried for how this may affect her, though her pediatrician feels like we should be able to go ahead with the trip.
I am weary from the weight of this week. Today I broke a mug, burned up a spoon, and cooked the meat I was trying to defrost for dinner. Add to that the blue crayon that is now all over the carpet in my dining room, Aaron’s decision to soak his entire body in Simple Green, and the ants who have invaded the bathroom now, and the result was not the greatest of days. Meanwhile my friends who I love are suffering, and, as Mercy said so eloquently the other day: “My heart is hurting and making me want to cry.”
I am reminded of Pastor Henry’s exhortation to us on our wedding day about struggling. And I am reminded that we are not promised a life free from chaos, disruption, and pain. And yet when those things come, how betrayed I can feel. I confess that I can too quickly feel entitled to the pleasant, the happy, the secure. And while our life is rich with so many of those things, the shadowy days come and it is then that my faith and patience and capacity for love and generosity are tested. It is easy to give in times of comfort and stability. It is much more difficult to give from a place of scarcity or exhaustion. These are the “dipstick moments” when our hearts are revealed for what they are.