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.