It’s life-giving and hard to find.
As I mentioned earlier, recently I finished a book called The Hiding Place, a true story about a Dutch woman and her family who were sent to a concentration camp for hiding Jews during World War II.
Toward the end of the book she describes her first night in a bed after being released from the camp and her almost indescribable awe at sleeping in a real bed with sheets – clean sheets, no less – after months of sharing a flea-ridden cot with five or more other women and only a thin blanket.
Reading this I paused, emotion caught in my throat.
Every night I sleep on sheets.
Clean, soft white sheets on my big, comfortable bed, with all the blankets I’d need, and air conditioning and a ceiling fan for a hot night. Any night of my life that I spent otherwise – and believe me they are few – were done so completely voluntarily.
I thanked Jesus for my sheets when I slipped between them later.
Driving to an annual checkup the next morning, I marveled at the rush-hour traffic, especially since there were still so many cars when I was heading in the opposite direction of most commuters.
Then I recalled the time I spent working in Atlanta and when I lived in the metro DC area. The worst traffic day in Birmingham is better than the best in those places.
The wait in the doctor’s office was just as long as usual. Wait to get called back. Wait for the nurse. Wait for the doctor. All this effort seems so annoying to have to go through once a year for such a trivial medical problem. Even more annoying to have the problem in the first place
While I lay back letting the nurse give me an EKG that I knew would be normal, I thought of all the many, many people in the waiting room whose EKGs would not be normal.
I am so healthy, to be so assured of a normal heart rhythm, and to hear from the doctor, “Ok, well, we’ll just see you in another year!”
It’s almost my twenty-seventh birthday and in my region of the States that puts me in old maid territory. Not saying that’s right, it just is what it is – most people in the South get married in their early twenties.
Sometimes I feel a little taste of bitterness about this – but then I remember I really, really love my life. If I had married at age 23 – I would have made some very unwise choices. Instead, I’m independent and happy.
It’s hard to find perspective when your vision is filled with what you’re currently experiencing. Even the suggestion to “get some perspective” can have you lashing out like a cornered animal (or maybe that’s just me). But a moment of perspective is the clear strike of a bell. Before it even quits ringing your emotions are changed – just with that one thought, the thought that’s hard to find, and easy to forget.