Tuesday, December 23, 2014

In the midst of chaos, there are miracles

It's the time of year, the time when we celebrate the birth of a miracle child, a child who came in the midst of chaos.  In our own lives, we may search for signs of Jesus in the midst of chaos.  Advent. Watch and wait. 

Over a month ago, a series of viruses started in my family.  It was the chaos of our lives during Advent.

Sore throat.  Sniff.  Cough.  Elephant on chest. 

"Mom, my ear hurts.  It really hurts."
(Clinic): "You have waited patiently for 2 hours.  We can see you now."

"I can't hear you.  My ears are clogged.  Can you speak up?" 
"I can't speak up.  My voice is gone."

(From the outside) "Haven't you had this for awhile?"

"It's ok, Beth.  2 other people can't come to work today.  They are also home sick."

"Can you look in my eyes to make sure I don't have pink eye?"

"I can't make physical therapy tomorrow.  I was ok yesterday but this morning I have a slight fever."

"I can squeak out a D when singing,  but that won't allow me to sing the Christmas Cantata."

"Well, I am trying not to get any of this." (husband) ............2 days later. "My throat hurts."  Sniff.  Cough.  Elephant on chest.  "Wow, my ear hurts.  It feels like I am in outer space."

It's Advent.  Time to search for Jesus in our lives.  Where do we see Jesus?  Jesus is holding our hand as we struggle to get through this difficult time.  But other glimpses begin to occur.

3 weeks after I got the nasty mystery virus, I went to physical therapy (PT).  How I bounced back I don't know.  On Tuesday, I walked 1.3 miles per hour (mph) with no problem.  That felt very strange.

So on Friday, I asked, "Can I try to walk 1.4 mph just for a few seconds?"

15 minutes later, I had continued that walking at 1.4 mph for the whole 15 minutes.

And not only that, but at 7:30,  I felt a miracle.  It's there.  Yes, I am certain that this is what I remember.  This is runner's high.  I am now 42 years old.  The last time I had a runner's high was when I was 19. 

I remember that last time.  I was coming back from an 8 mile run with my college cross country coach and my good friend who was with me when I was diagnosed with MS at age 20.  She told me there was no way I could beat "Coach" going downhill to the end of the run.  But I loved running downhill.  Watch out!  I took off and felt like the wind - nothing could stop me.  Back then it was an amazing feeling.

And now?  The feeling that I could keep going forever was even more powerful.  On the treadmill, I suddenly realized I had that awesome feeling that can't be described.  I finished my workout and proclaimed with great joy that I just had a runner's high.  I'll never forget that.  MS can take a lot, but it can't take that brief, amazing period.  Later that day I cried tears of joy.

Today, Tuesday again, I had my end-of-year speed test.  About 2 months ago I walked a third of the speed of an average person.  Today I walked about half the speed of an average person.  That means (humor inserted here) I could make it halfway across a street in one light cycle.  I could make it across in just 2 cycles, stopping in the middle.  That is something.

I saw another woman working out today and said, "Wow, she is doing really well."
"You will get there, Beth."
I don't know/. It's a long way to go.  There will be so much in between.
This random awesome walking occurred in the midst of chaos, where so many people are sick. And for some, it doesn't mean anything.

But for me, it's one of those times I find Jesus.  I found Jesus.  I found Jesus in many other small ways also - not necessarily where something went right.

Watch and wait.  The time is almost here.  And if we look, we will find our own moments.

And in the midst of chaos, there is a baby born in a manger.