Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fireflies, part 2

On Sunday we celebrated my little brother and his fiance, Jaime, as they prepare to wed in Florida on September 6th. I plan to post photos from the event later, but for now, I want to show you something.

Back in February, I wrote a post about the darkness that had settled into the nooks and crannies of my life. It was thick and heavy and I hated that it was back. The darkness tends to show up when I'm scary sick. But, as I noted in my post, "There's one thing I've learned about the darkness: there are always fireflies darting through it. Often, these fireflies flit nearer and nearer till they're hovering in front of us, close enough to reach out and grab."

My rose-loving mechanic, the neighbor's hungry horse, the friend with a rare form of cancer who faithfully prays for me — these are all fireflies. They are pockets of grace casting patches of light across the shadows.

"I don't want to let these fireflies flit away unnoticed," I wrote. "I want to catch them and keep them somewhere safe. This week I imagine myself gently sliding my fireflies into a mason jar with nail holes in the lid. When life's darkness feels too thick and heavy, I pull out that mason jar and set it on the table.

"Then I sit quietly and watch it glow, moonish and mesmerizing."

My dear aunt, who has always been such an encourager to me, decided to make me a special gift after reading my firefly post. On Sunday, since she and my uncle were in town for the reception, she gave me the gift.

You guys. Here it is:

That's me on the left

The print on the backside of the pillow

She made this. 

My dear aunt.

Isn't it delightful? I absolutely love it. Its whimsy satisfies some deep, thirsty part of me.

I told my aunt that these unexpected acts of love mitigate some of the sorrow of this season. Somehow, chronic illness ends up being the vessel bearing life's greatest gift: the kindness and compassion of the Body of Christ.

And so many people have shown me such kindness.

When this whole health fiasco became so grave 9 months ago, I started developing mild dyslexia. That and a number of other symptoms often make reading really hard. So my cousin, upon learning that I was struggling to read, found the summer reading list I'd posted on Facebook in early June, and bought a pile of audio books for me.

Every few days I get a new package with a new books.

Snail mail is THE BEST!

Last weekend a friend, A, who has prayed faithfully for me stopped by and gave me this necklace:

The gal from whom A bought this necklace is one of my favorite jewelers, and just days before A gave me this necklace I'd seen it (or one just like it, I'm not sure) online and thought, "I'd sure like that." And then poof! it was mine. A said to remember that she's praying for me each time I wear it.

Did I tell you that I've had several loads of blackberries delivered over the last few weeks?

There have also been a number of people who have sent me notes of encouragement, and loads of others who have offered to come see me -- to watch movies, go on easy walks, sit and visit etc. I've been too sick to have visitors, but the offers have made me feel less alone.

Fireflies, fireflies, everywhere fireflies.

So if you need me, I'll be snuggled under my new quilt on my new pillow, wearing my new necklace, listening to my new audio books, whilst snacking on a mountain of blackberries.

And oh: my body made it through almost the entire reception on Sunday. I was upright for hours, interacting with dozens of people, which is nothing short of MIRACULOUS.  The activity did wear on the ol' body, but the ol' body DID IT. It wouldn't have a couple of weeks ago. So thank you thank you thank you, Jesus for answering the prayers of my friends.

I hope your Tuesday is filled with good things, friends.

And over and out;

And cheering for ya, home skillets.


© by scj

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