Last Sunday instead of going to church I took Keith to hospital. My ordinary Sunday changed in an instant. The emergency department is not a place I would ever choose to visit. I was flooded with unwanted memories of my own visits as a patient to the same place as I sat beside Keith. I had adrenalin flooding through my body and my ability to think clearly or logically vanished. He is ok. What he was experiencing was not life threatening, but needed to be checked out fairly urgently.
On going home, I started acting like a mad woman. I went into de-clutter mode and emptied a large wooden storage box sitting in our bedroom and stuffed its contents into large garbage bags. I emptied cupboards of old towels and sheets, found old clothes never worn and added them to a pile of “stuff” to pass on. I was not behaving normally. My behaviour reminded me of a day almost 30 years ago when I heard news that my father had cancer. I was home alone so I made gingerbread men. As one does. Why? I can’t tell you, but I have never made a gingerbread man since. It is weird what one does when facing the possibility, no matter how remote of losing someone precious.
Keith is fine. He is completely fine. But last Sunday, my body was behaving in a manner that showed me that I did not think I would be fine if something happened to him. It made me think about lots of things – what do I think is important in life? how do I spend my time? how do I manage my own stress so that I don’t continue to behave like a mad woman? One of the things I thought about was being thankful for the ordinary.
We take the ordinary for granted. I wanted to have an ordinary Sunday last week. When difficult things happen, no matter what it is – it might be being marooned in a country town because of flooding (my daughter has been stuck in Moree this week), the death of a family member, the loss of a job, a sudden change of circumstances – we long for a return to something mundane and ordinary.
We even take things such as a good night’s sleep and good health for granted and forget that they are blessings. Mike Raiter preached at our church this morning and shared that the first thing he does each morning is thank God for a good night of sleep and his health. After experiencing a time of ill-health, Mike has learnt to be thankful for these blessings. It was a timely and challenging reminder.
I have recently discovered a wonderful singer Melanie Penn who is based in New York and downloaded her album called Wake up Love. One of her songs is titled “Ordinary Day” in which she describes how God is there in the ordinary things of life that are mostly overlooked – the summer breeze, the fragrance of spring and the little things in life that are simply there. She then says that God is still there in the sigh as all creation groans and waits – if we listen. It is quite profound. It is a song with a subtle message.
Until recently, I have been seduced by her beautiful voice and melodic tunes, but when you stop and listen – she is a thoughtful songwriter. You can listen to some of the tracks on her website and buy it online – I did and have listened to it again and again – it was a find. I have to say I love this album!
As I listened to it this morning, I remembered to thank God for the blessing of waking up each morning to an ordinary day, with not much happening at all. A day filled with very ordinary things such as waking up from a night of sleep, my own good health, the opportunity to spend time at church, the possibility of a walk with Keith in glorious sunshine, and a cup of tea.