Thursday, July 17, 2008

Home, Sick

That's where I've been, going on the second day, home, sick. It all started with that The Visitation post. My 'visitation' as it were, dehydrated me. Or, I, being less attentive to my frailty, dehydrated myself. Fact is, I do not take care of myself as I ought. I do get better sleep, I don't drink like a fish anymore, but I simply ignore the little things like hydration. My fever has dissipated, I feel more normal this morning, just ate two poached eggs and am drinking coffee. (I already downed a 12 oz Gatorade, for those of you who may be smirking that coffee is not hydrating.)
I've got a friend who suffers physically a lot. Come to think of it, I know many who contend with all kinds of suffering, physical and emotional. From migraines to arthritis, from sciatia to carpel tunnel, from endometriosis to pinniculitis, from fibromyalgia to clinical depression they're all there, slugging it out in the temporal. These conditions or diseases are not what make these folk, though. I know none of them to have succumbed to the clutches of despair, but by man's standards, they certainly would have reason to, and no one could judge them, or me for surrender to pain.
What's funny, is that days before I spiralled into this state of being, I mused on suffering and wondered aloud to someone, (I cannot recall now who it was,) if that is not why we are here in the first place- to suffer. Soren Kierkegaard put it like this:

Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth-look at the dying man's struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.

I imagine, as I nearly always do, that as you read this, you are saying to yourself, well Wallace has been feverish for one too many hours, and now just needs a little rest, that is a little extreme, of course our lives are intended for enjoyment, you say, they sure as hell ought to be.

I can't argue with you on the topic, because there does seem to be ample evidence in scripture that God intended for us to enjoy creation, to enjoy fellowship and to enjoy him. What I offer for pondering is that one dare to believe it is possible to enjoy life and live into the calling to suffer all at once. My premise for this paradox is based in part on homesickness. Not being home, sick, but real, honest to God homesick, the awareness, the inkling that this world is not our home, that there is something greater for which we were born. While I'm home today, I'll think on it if you will.

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