Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Different Kind of Hunger

I have so much to catch you all up on... The next several posts will be from previous weeks when I could not write due to the lingering sickness that commanded all available time and energy... Thank you for grace...

***********
Heartbeats of pain pound behind my throbbing eyes. I squint hard at the clock.

4:37 a.m.

My body wrenches again and I feel the heat rising, sweeping away my resolve in waves of nausea. My forehead is damp, my hand steaming hot against the cool of the floor.

Only a few hours earlier I had been praying
"thank You, thank You God that I am not sick while the girls are..."

I hear the feverish 19 month old crying but I can't crawl from the yellow light of the bathroom all the way up the dark of stairs to reach her. All retches and reels but there is nothing left to give. God, help me... please...

I become like a begging child in sickness, crying for the Parent to stop the pain, help with the pain, do something.

I hear her whimpering footsteps down the stairs.

I can't move from this spot, trying to will myself to a steady place, a place where I can breathe easy and maybe even go back to sleep before the sun comes up.

The toddler stands in the doorway, blinking bleary in the contrasting bright. I manage a "hi baby..." before I heave again. She stands confused, expressionless. She crowds close and as soon as she can sits heavy in my lap, arms wrap around my already strangling neck, pressing her pitiful heat into mine with a quivering "mommy... cra-ckers... cra-ckers...".

"Okay baby, okay..."

Wobbly legs walk slow to the pantry, I grab the box of crackers and put the toddler down as we reach the stairs.

"Go upstairs baby, you have to walk, mommy can't carry you..."

We both crawl up the stairs and into the twin bed in the girls room. The feverish five year old in bed in the other room with the exhausted husband, working 16+ hour days and barely sleeping through the nights of crying and constant calling out during sleep.

He committed himself to this extra work several weeks ago to be able to take days off when the new baby is born. The girls just happened to get sick right before this work week for him began.

I try to remember... this is night 5? 6?...

My nearly four months pregnant belly, now a very noticeable bump, growls both hungry and nauseous at the smell of the crackers the toddler is crunching.

It's been 10 hours since I've eaten, and I consider taking a nibble, but I can't even keep the water I've been sipping down, don't think I'll give them a try just yet.

Hours pass in aching moments, we groan and toss and turn in bed, trying to find comfort in sleep. It comes sometime long after the sky's soft light has been slowly brightening through the window overhead.

And still, within every hour, half hour, my body wakes and tries to reject what isn't there. By now, I feel wildly hungry.

I lay down in a comfortless half-sleep, think about how hungry I am, the myriad of options I have downstairs, what I will eat as soon as I can.

And His Spirit stirs unexpected, whispers quietly into my aching middle:

What if you treated the hunger of others as if it were your own?

And all the Truth I know melds, overlaps, echos in my mind that feverishly plays this over and over... do to others as you would have them do to you... Remember those who are mistreated as if you yourself were suffering... For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...I was sick and you looked after me... The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

I silent scream against the swirling thoughts, this hopeless feeling circling. I don't know how to help all those who are hungry!... I want to... being hungry is horrible... and I've never even known real hunger, not any kind without an end to it in sight... Your limitless Spirit is in my limited body... what do I do?? How do you want me to respond to what You're telling me??... And I don't see those who are starving to death, it'd be easier to regularly do something if it was in my face, I'm so disconnected from those who are so hungry...

He says it firm... gently... words that stop the storm and it all settles clear.

You are surrounded by a different kind of hunger.

A different kind of starving.

A place so full of artificial nourishment that Real Bread isn't consumed.

I am the Bread of life. You are the salt of the earth.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. Do this with gentleness and respect.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they. Will. Be.Filled.

I satisfy the thirsty and fill the hungry with good things.

I will prepare a table for them in the presence of their enemies. Their cup will overflow.

So whenever you speak, do it as one speaking My very words.

"As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."




1 comment:

Michelle said...

So true, and even though I already heard the spoken version of this blog as it was formulating in your mind I needed to hear this again. Thank you for sharing what our Father is teaching you! I'm so glad you're not sick anymore and that the girls are recovering nicely. I love you!

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