“When you can’t run, walk. When you can’t walk, crawl. If you can’t crawl… find someone to drag you on a gurney.”
These beautiful words of wisdom came from my beloved sister-in-law–wife, mother of 5, world traveler and missionary, and general awesomeness in redhead form. It was also the unofficial motto for her church several years ago. After all, where people are really living and striving for authentic holiness, some people are running and some are on the gurney. It all depends on the day.
This is the beginning of Week 2 for William the Conqueror. During Week 1 he was infused with chemotherapy drugs and aside from some nausea and mild crankiness he does fairly well. This week his counts are beginning to drop early, which means his immune system is unable to fight and everything implodes. It’s like a teething toddler meeting the flu. Only Taylor Swift and miles of walking in circles in his push-cart will console him.
I found myself getting very frustrated with all the screaming today. I pounding headache raged from my eye and ear down the neck. E-mails sat impatiently. Plans needed working for the folks at home. My list of level 2 priorities was long. I was getting downright snippy.
While the nurses consoled William saying, “Everyone gets a bad day”, “Look what you’re going through!” etc., it occurred to me that bad choices begin with a good excuse.
Priscilla Shirer uses the metaphor of a water glass in someone’s outstretched hand. If someone shakes the arm holding a full glass, water will spill out. We can say the shaking caused the spill, but the reality is that water was IN the cup; that is why a full cup overflowed and water spilled out.
When we are shaken, what is IN us will shake OUT of us.
Soon blood products were hanging and coursing into his veins. With in an hour William showed marked improvement. When he is drained and can’t continue, the blood of another is needed to transform what we have into something better. The small amount of “whole” and healthy blood can cover all the deficiencies of William’s blood. The difference is obvious and notable, even though it is gradual. That’s the gospel right there. The perfect blood of Jesus infused into us covers our deficiencies and changes everything. Testing the blood tomorrow will reflect the impact of the healthy blood more than Williams, just as the more Christ-infused we are, the less we see of ourselves.
Today is a “walk” day for me. I am hauling a gernie. I can’t carry more weight or go any faster. I am tapped out.
I find that many of my friends, particularly mothers, are often hauling very heavy gurneys and guilty that they aren’t at a running pace anymore. Our situation has changed and yet we won’t give ourselves the grace in our new task. Worse, some of us take PRIDE in the difficulty of our path and almost delight in our misery as if to bring glory to it.
It is much easier to find someone to run, walk, or carry with you if you stop being miserable in it. It is better to just be infused with blood and just be encouraged in it. In our world which loves to play “who has it worse”, that is difficult.
NOTHING helped today– except an infusion of new blood. Sometimes you just need a doctor. Sometimes you just need rest. Sometimes you need a gurney. It is in time, presence, listening, carrying– THOSE are the things that get under our skin more than the list of “have you tried”s or “I have a great product” or “I read this article”.
If you are in a season of running, RUN! If you’re walking, walk! If you are crawling, crawl! It’s NOT a competition.
Today is a gurney and life-support kind of day. May we all be looking out to see how we can infuse others with life-giving things. Speak life. Run the race. Walk in His paths. Crawl and pray on pray on your knees. Lie flat and cry out. Jesus can work with it all. That’s something to glory in.