Two vases, cast off
by their owners,
stand side by side
in my greenhouse window.
My Jack Sprat-and-wife of the pottery world.
Both came from yard sales, several years apart, and I enjoy them every day. But this morning … I see them a-fresh.
Last year, you could say my life resembled the tall vase: shapely and capacious, with an easy, upward outlook. Familiar, much-loved dimensions.
Then I got scary sick.
Talk about crushing. It was like being squashed into the squat, bulbous vase: squeezed, compressed, diminished. My personal soundtrack underwent change, too, from carefree humming to yelps, groans, the occasional whimper.
In the words of Jeremiah the prophet, I was being emptied from vessel to vessel.
Without my permission.
“The people of Moab,” Jeremiah said, “are like wine left to settle; they have never been emptied from one jar to another.”
Dregs are so repulsive.
And no one wants to be forced into shape-shifting change. So we pray, rebel, scout silver linings. We whine, rage, then pray some more.
Panicky at being out of control, we pursue compulsions. (Why yes, I did solve 31 jigsaw puzzles and 413 crosswords.)
Sometimes we make lists: Things I Can Still Do.
We binge. Then pay. Grieve. Pray harder.
And all the while, friends—like you!—keep showing up. You pray, send cards, emails, puzzles, and gifts. You prepare healing foods and assist with errands.
The goodness of God shown through loving, practical grace has kept me hopeful, tensile. Malleable.
Little by little, I’ve found peace in the awkward new shape of my days.
“Through love all pain will turn to medicine” (Rumi).
Friends, after five long months my new favorite word begins with the letter “R.” I am officially in Remission. End. Of. Siege. No more Abominable Abdominal C. diff!
Now begins the slow, stretching efforts of trial-and-error diet, to heal the interior damage.
Perhaps I need a third vase.
Have you been disrupted, too? Emptied from vessel to vessel?
I would love to pray for you.
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Thank you to Cris DiNoto for Railroad Crossing photo (on Unsplash)