Have I ever had peace?

Have I ever had peace?

Four months after surgery I find myself at yet another hospital appointment, hoping for good news.  If I am honest though, I am trying not to get my hopes up too much so that if it doesn’t work out then I am not too disappointed.  Have you ever done that? Could it be possible that the huge frame attached to my leg could come off and I can start the next part of the process of getting back on my feet (literally)? This would mean I would need to go back on crutches but at least for this leg the frame would be gone. The one thing making me nervous is the removal of the frame which can be done under a general anaesthetic or simply with gas and air.  I don’t get on well with anaesthetic but it is apparently quite painful, even with gas and air.  It’s not a great choice.

The moment comes when the Consultant looks up from his screen and says “I am sorry but you will need to come back in 4 weeks, we need more healing to take place”. He also said given the size of the frame he would suggest having it off under a general anaesthetic!

Again the ability to try and plan life is gone.  Time really is a healer but it never goes as fast as we want it to. I have so many questions as to how the future will work out.  I have heard people of Christian faith say when they came to faith they found the answers.  In a strange way I have more questions now than before I was Christian, but I am grateful my questions don’t seem to stress God out.

I have been reflecting on whether I have ever felt at peace.  I have four young children and peaceful is one of the last words you would use to describe our house.  At work I am always telling myself “when this project is over”,  “when this series of speaking engagements are finished”, or “when the book I have been writing is finished” then life will calm down.  At the moment I am saying “when I am completely pain free with no more hospital appointments …” (which is still a very long way away).

I guess the reality is life rarely gets quieter (especially with four children).  There is always something that needs doing.  Our bodies do break down.  I have learned that peace doesn’t mean life turning out the way I wanted it to or planned.  I am slowly beginning to understand that peace is knowing that despite all the crap, someone is still holding on to me, much like the picture in described in the story below:

“An artist was commissioned by a wealthy man to paint something that would depict peace. After a great deal of thought, the artist painted a beautiful country scene. There were green fields with cows standing in them, birds were flying in the blue sky and a lovely little village lay in a distant valley. The artist gave the picture to the man, but there was a look of disappointment on his face. The man said to the artist, “This isn’t a picture of true peace. It isn’t right. Go back and try again.

The artist went back to his studio, thought for several hours about peace, then went to his canvas and began to paint. When he was finished, there on the canvas was a beautiful picture of a mother, holding a sleeping baby in her arms, smiling lovingly at the child. He thought, surely, this is true peace, and hurried to give the picture to the wealthy man. But again, the wealthy man refused the painting and asked the painter to try again.

The artist returned again to his studio. He was discouraged, he was tired and he was disappointed. Anger swelled inside him, he felt the rejection of this wealthy man. Again, he thought, he even prayed for inspiration to paint a picture of true peace. Then, all of a sudden an idea came, he rushed to the canvas and began to paint as he had never painted before. When he finished, he hurried to the wealthy man.

He gave the painting to the man. He studied it carefully for several minutes. The artist held his breath. Then the wealthy man said, “Now this is a picture of true peace.” He accepted the painting, paid the artist and everyone was happy.

And what was this picture of true peace?? The picture showed a stormy sea pounding against a cliff. The artist had captured the furry of the wind as it whipped black rain clouds which were laced with streaks of lightening. The sea was roaring in turmoil, waves churning, the dark sky filled with the power of the furious thunderstorm.

And in the middle of the picture, under a cliff, the artist had painted a small bird, safe and dry in her nest snuggled safely in the rocks. The bird was at peace midst the storm that raged about her.”

Contributed by Rev Tim Zingale

Learning to be content in life’s uncertainties is a challenge but I take comfort in the assurance that when I have let go of God, He still seems to have kept hold of me!

 

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise trouble or hard work ,it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart – Unknown