What Have We Been Doing?

What Have We Been Doing? November 17, 2022

I know, I wrote that last time…but we’ve spent the past week dealing with an injury.  My daughter broke her ankle and had to have surgery, which has put the rest of life on hold.  We’ve discovered our home is decidedly not ADA-compliant.   I’m wanting to enlarge every door by six inches and now hate any and all stairs.

The mini-van has become the MVP car of the house.

Writing got to wait behind bills, grading, managing my daughter’s pain, ordinary stuff like cooking, cleaning and eating, and being drafted into drafting a baseball team.

What was that last thing…yes…I’ve lost my mind.

When we were expecting our seventh, and my second son’s baseball team needed a coach and possibly an intervention given some of the special kinds of crazy witnessed by the adults in the stands, I asked the question aloud in front of my eldest.  “Do you think I should coach his team?”  It was more of a rhetorical musing than an actual plan or notion but he looked at me and said, “Are you completely crazy?”  Seeing as my oldest son tended to try always to be “Golden Boy,” it felt rather bold of my ten-year-old.

Still, he had good reasoning.  For years, if you said, “Who could we get to volunteer for this task?” my reaction was something akin to this:

It later matured to this:

However, years of living with a stat man whose best friend is also a stat man, who have spent hours upon hours going over fantasy baseball stats into the wee of the night, have finally paid off. I’m going to compete with these guys and probably get my clock cleaned…but it will have been a noble experiment to have a league of my own. And if I go over 500 with my lack of expertise, I’m claiming boasting rights forever.

Not a great spiritual insight to be sure, but it has proven a good diversion from fretting in between helping our daughter go to and fro everywhere in and outside of the house. So…that’s why the writing has taken it on the chin up to now. Still, the week sped by with most of our time spent tending the sick.  I know why I am not a nurse or doctor.  I also know why caring for the sick is an act of mercy.  It made me grateful for all the care I’ve received this past year during my illness.

Her injury will take a while to heal, and I admit, I’ve felt overwhelmed several times during this process.  More than a few ugly cries and not a few moments of frustration despite knowing, however hard it is for us, it is harder for her.  The fallen nature of even our love for each other revealed itself.  Not a proud mom moment, because I could give more, I could do more, I should do more.  I felt the callouses of not volunteering being scraped away.  Maybe I hadn’t matured.  Maybe I’d just been selfish.   The one insight I have from all of this, is every one of us, is a splinter in God’s cross –and I thought this as I knelt in mass this week, handing Christ all the crosses of the week, including the one that left me most weak, my daughter’s injury. He joyfully takes on all our sufferings, because it allows Him to be our savior.

I felt somehow nestled even as I knew, my errors, my faults, my sins nettled –causing our Lord both deep pain, and knowing He also still took all of that and held it as tenderly as the cross, as I held my daughter’s leg. All of life is a discovery of how much we need God, and how much God longs to reveal Himself fully to us –and the graces that come in the midst of suffering, these are when we can most easily see God’s goodness, God’s grace, God’s gifts. They’re just below the surface, veiled.   All these moments are God whispering, “I’m looking for good hearts to volunteer to serve and love others.”

Here’s hoping, my heart’s hand shoots up.

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