Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stories

Been a strange weekend. My shoulder feels some better, but it was pretty painful for awhile. Even with my high threshold of pain, I ended up taking a pain killer. The effects were nearly immediate. I got sick, and I remembered that is what I felt like right after chemo. I guess you don't forget.

When I wrote my blog post 'Thanks', it was meant to be a testimony, and a praise for the blessings of the week. Those blessings make me conscious that God is at work. Knowing that God is at work in my life made it a lot easier to face the biopsy and the potential loss of my job due to budget cuts. In the words of my friend, Karen, 'After all of this, I don't imagine He's going to drop you on your head now.' I was really at peace with things. I wrote that blog post, and I was happy, really happy, in a quiet place in my soul. I was really pleased to hear that others found it an encouragement as well.

Unfortunately, it lit a fire under my family. "I can only see the bad, not the good."

I received an e-mail about 'my dirty windows':

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap." Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this." The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows." And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

I guess that I am to realize that my window is not 'pure'.

I felt bad about all the uproar, because really, my intention was simply to share encouragement. Out of all of that, the one thing that the angry people saw is the part about not fitting in with my family. Of course, this brought an immediate outcry. After all, the not fitting in part is my fault, not theirs, and by God, they will make sure that I understand this.

After spending a weekend pondering these things, and really feeling very badly, I went to church this morning to hear a sermon based on 2 Corinthians 4: 1-10. Share our stories, use them to encourage others. I walked out of church thoughtfully. The Bible is a collection of stories of God at work. He is still at work. It is a big connected circle, and my stories join with other peoples' stories of His goodness to us. Our stories become part of the eternal narrative of the world. It is up to each one of us to tell our stories with integrity. With joy. In the end, our stories will be judged by God.

Mom. I am sorry that you are upset. Go back and re-read that post. There's plenty of encouraging stuff there. It brought me peace. It brought peace to others. I hope it encourages you, but Mom, if it does not, you need to find the stories that do encourage you. Go in peace.

5 comments:

Pencil Writer said...

Good perspective, Debby. We all will, hopefully, someday realize that we choose our own perspective, your family members included. How do we ever know about how clouded our own windows are if we're constantly pointing out how clouded someone else's seems to be.

Families are great, but MAN, they can be a trial when all the opinions don't seem to converge--as you mentioned--with a joyful feeling of peace.

Keep on truckin', Debby. Fortunately for us all, God only judges and saves us one at a time. I pray there's time enough for us all to be worthy of the saving grace He so fully profers us.

Hugs and prayers to/for you!

Bush Babe said...

How I wish your family could wash away the past that grits up their view of their daughter and sister... I cannot imagine how they cannot be proud and uplifted at your achievements.

Life is short. And sometimes, bits of it suck. Make the most of the non-sucky stuff.

That is The Gospel According to Bush Babe.
Amen.
(NB I don't really think I am holy. Holey, sure!)

Lydia said...

You know, when you speak what you really feel & know, it can surely bump into the wounds of other. They become protective of the old wounds and hurts and will fight back to protect themselves.

Thanks for having the courage to speak the truth of your life. It must be difficult to have backlash during such a precarious time. If it is any encouragement, you have encouraged many.

I am quite certain if I spoke my truth to my family I would get much the same reaction from some parts of them, and I understand why. We just don't see things the same way, and it is unlikely that we ever will. I am really OK with that.

It simply is what it is.

Lots of love, and prayers for grace and peace to you and all of yours.

Anonymous said...

Debby I am not upset or angry, hurt is more the word, for being called old. I am happy that you have gotten the support that you needed when you were going thru your crisis, going thru it with dad I know how hard it was. I too grieve over my family. I just wish that your friends on your blog could know your family, they might even like us. Mom

Daria said...

I really enjoyed my dirty windows email ... I'll be thinking about that one for a while.