Thursday, March 27, 2008

And today a challenge

My shoulder is frozen today. Now I don't know if I really have what doctors diagnose as a frozen shoulder, but oh my goodness, it hurts! I cannot raise my right arm and almost all movement brings sharp spasms. Routine tasks like combing my hair and making up the bed are slow and agonizingly painful. Lifting anything is out of the question.

This is one of the challenges in which I desire to live with God exalting joy. But, honestly, I don't feel like doing that today. I feel like sleeping (I didn't do much of that last night) and sitting. I feel like grumbling and complaining. But then, I think of Linda, my dear friend who died last February. Linda battled cancer for seven years and in the three and a half of those years that I knew her, I was constantly amazed at her capacity for joy in the all sufficient love of God whose goodness she never questioned despite surgeries, chemo treatments, fluid build-up in her abdomen, and much, much more. Her life verse was Psalm 16:11:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
So, I thought of Linda today and did something she loved to do. I went to a garden.

Matthew had drama class this afternoon and since he has his permit, he was able to drive. I sat in the passenger seat, thankfully resting my aching arm. When we got to Concord, he headed to the theatre and I took a slow walk to the library to return two small books (easy to carry), then to the tea shop for a cup of iced raspberry green tea, and then to Memorial Garden with my tea to sit and read. When I got there, my thoughts sped from this painful arm to the beauties of the garden. The pale yellow tulips with pink stripes they planted this year are stunning! The large tulip beds by the fountain are not blooming yet, but many other flowers are in their spring glory right now; pansies and many other varieties of tulips, hyacinths, Lenten roses, some of the azaleas, and ornamental cherry trees. I walked to the columbarium and found a bench near the fountain and spent an hour reading, sun on my back, water cheerfully gurgling over the bricks of the fountain, bees buzzing, quiet visitors walking through admiring the flowers. Oh, it was just what I needed.

My shoulder is still hurting - a lot - tonight. I'm still frustrated with the inability to move my arm without pain. But my eyes were lifted up from my pain this afternoon and I remember that the Lord who gives gladness in happy times like this past weekend also gives gladness in pain. Praise Him.

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