Here is the last of this season's harvest. This garden box of swiss chard will cook down to maybe a couple cups of harvest. The zucchini has taken a long time to grow but now that the nights are cold and the days cool it will just give up growing and go mostly dormant until it freezes.
As I have dozed off and on during my healing I can relate to the vegetables left in my garden. They slow down or cook down to nothing, and in my last 6 day haze I find a few similarities. Now let me make the big jump from a vegetable to a person. We have some things in common but when it really counts there are vast differences.
In that last 6 days of healing as I have considered constipation and the pain associated with it as my most serious problem while several things have happened outside my wimpy personal realm. One is that our pastor's granddaughter just died from a rare form of cancer. She was 5 years old, and had not started to live yet and now she is gone. Parents and grandparents and siblings all have had their heart cut right out of them. They grieve and struggle along not having their courageous little girl with them any longer. Or our good friend who has just lost his second son to disease. Or our good friend in Las Vegas who has just lost her companion and best friend of twenty years. Charlie her cat. Having lost a beloved pet ourselves it is hard to comprehend the pain you experience when a loyal, trusted and devoted animal friend dies and the void it leaves in your heart. Or my friend in Texas who underwent a heart procedure that lasts up to 12 hours. Mine was only an hour by comparison. Or another friend who found out her son has lymphoma a dreaded cancer. Or another friend who lost their daughter last year in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. Or another friend who just died a few months ago from heart failure. Or another faithful friend who just simply died of old age and those infirmities connected with it. A friend who has faithfully prayed for my well being every day and I have done the same for him for many years. I guess you can see why I feel wimpy now with so much heart wrenching crisis going on and my big problem is constipation and a little pain.
So life does go on but each time a friend or good acquaintance suffers I experience it too. My face book friend whose son has serious cancer was the very last thing I recall praying for just before the anesthesia put me under to have my hernia repaired. My friend who had the heart procedure has been on my daily prayer list every day for months. Our pastor's granddaughter who had just started life here on earth and is now gone. There is pain and there is pain and mine is just a little tweek by comparison.
As these things are felt deeply by me and I have concluded that is the primary difference between myself and a zucchini or swiss chard. I can feel their pain and experience it vicariously myself. Vegetables do not have that kind of pain. I have come to realize that there is absolutely nothing I could say that would make one whit of difference. So I will keep on praying for our pastor and his family. If I could get to Las Vegas I would go by and visit our friend saying nothing because nothing I could say would help. I would simply sit with her and when she cried I would cry, when she laughed I would laugh too. Then I would go home and come back again if it would help her. What can you say to ease the pain of a good friend who has lost their daughter to a senseless and cowardly act of blowing yourself up in order to injure or kill someone else? What words can replace a loyal pet? What can I say to my friend who had wires run into his heart when I had a simple hernia operation? What can I say to my friend on face book whose son is fighting the fight of his life?
My biggest problem is constipation and a little pain. How does that compare with my friends who have real life situations? I have concluded there is nothing to be said other than let them know you are hurting right along with them. When they hurt I hurt too. Sometimes I think it may be best not to look or find profound words of 'comfort' but to just let them know you feel their pain because you too have experienced it before yourself, in one form or another. Being silent when you truly care may be the most profound thing you can do for a friend.
So I conclude that like the zucchini and swiss chard it is best sometimes not say anything but unlike vegetables let those you care about know you too have had pain and each time something happens to them it renews a little of your pain too. So there I have made the jump from a vegetable to a human and have decided that being human can be traumatic and painful but it is better than being vegetable. So as I lay around and recover I will continue to pray for my friends who have gut wrenching pain that will last far longer than my few problems.
Being forced to slow down has given me lots of time to think and realize that God is in control regardless of what some people might think and that my humble prayers are the very best I can do at this moment. They are the glue that holds all the confusion together. So regardless whether you are a vegetable or a person we are all part of God's great plan and like it or not, things happen and we don't have to understand but leave it in His capable hands.