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Friday, November 18, 2011

Going with The Flu

It has been raining for days and there is no sign of stopping. When last week I tuned on the Weather Channel, on the screen appeared a long line of small squares featuring dripping clouds, with one exception: The one marked Sunday showed a bright yellow sun. And so, in the attempt to catch the last rays of summer, on Sunday I headed for the pool. Trying not to pay attention to a looming head-ache, I plunged head first into the freezing water. The following day I had a stiff neck and a cold, but I still roamed around the house obsessing over things I had to do and things I wanted to do. Frustrated because of the pouring rain, I picked up a fight with my husband and son over a possible move to California.
"I refused to go on living in such a horrible climate!" I yelled at their perplexities about relocating.
Then, trying to channel my negative energy into something positive, I took up scrubbing the kitchen floor, only to strain my arm's muscles.

Have you ever felt so miserable that not only your present, but also your past and your future seemed to be overshadowed by a grey curtain of pessimism? Have you ever said to yourself that you haven't accomplished anything in your life and are just too tired to face the future? Luckily, I don't have a lot of days like that, but when I do, I pray to Jesus for some relief. This time, He wisely decided to knock me down. I'm home with the flu and, thanks to God, I have no choice but to relax. I've canceled my appointments and now I lie in my bed, this time praying for Him to alleviate the pressure between my eyes. Then I start looking for Him. How can I find Him, right here in my room? Maybe concentrating on that old snap-shot of my mother, sitting on the beach with Capri's coast in the background? No, that's just awakening my nostalgia. We used to take pictures of each other when we were on vacation. I can almost feel the weight of the big old-fashioned camera in my hands, while I was holding it in front of her smiling face. It must have been before my teen-age years, and now I'm probably older than she was in that picture.

My mother is not among us anymore, and the thought of her makes me feel lonely. Longing for some company, I call my son by my bed.
"Sweetheart," I say to the non-religious fruit of my womb, "Would you read a few passages from the Bible to me?"
"Are you out of your mind?" he rebels.
"Come on!" I insist, "I have a terrible headache and I can't read that small print. But that's what I need to hear right now."
With a sigh, he sits next to me and grabs the Bible that I'm holding out to him. He opens it at random.
"I lie prostrate in the dust; give me life in accordance with your word. I disclosed my ways and you answered me; teach me your laws. Make me understand the way of your precepts; I will ponder your wondrous deeds. I weep in bitter pain; in accord with your word to strenghten me."
He turns to me: "I can't read this. To put oneself down before an imaginary being…it's humiliating! Why are you so fascinated with this depressing stuff?"
"Because in it I see the hand of God. It gives me hope, it speaks to my heart. Because I want to hear a message that transcends my humanity".
"These are just meaningless slogans, mom."
"That's because our vocabulary is limited, sweetheart. There are no words to describe God's love, not to mention to open your mind to its meaning. But it's OK; you don't have to read if you don't want to. Let's listen to the Pink Floyd together."
And as the room is filled with music, I perceive Jesus' love bringing us together in a bundle of tenderness. In a drug induced daze, I see tens of doves rising towards the ceiling, carrying small black musical notes in their beaks. Angels in disguise, breaking through the boundaries of my imagination.

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