Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week One observations from a worthless blob...

The past week has been rough. I feel like a worthless blob around the house.

I'm still on crutches and it's painful to move the wrong way so I just can't get around the house to help Shari or the kids with much of anything. She's not complaining, in fact, being the servant she is, I think she likes helping and doing things for me. My kids have been great too. They bring me stuff, constantly ask me how I'm feeling, and even put my socks on for me each morning. How pathetic I am, I catch myself loathing.

I can't even really help with our foster baby. I can't get on the ground to play with her because getting back up is torture right now. Shari can't leave me alone with her because I have to be able to walk and carry her in case of an emergency. Basically I am of no value in the house other than to bark out orders of reinforcement for something Shari tells the kids to do.

I'd think of myself as a motionless slug right now except I can move, so I'm basically a slug that gets in the way. Tough trial for me, this bum leg thing.

My current situation doesn't effect my ministry at church too much as I'm able to study and interact with people on the phone and email. I've actually had a very productive week in those areas. I'm even working ahead on teaching preparation and have caught up on my back log of emails. I was able to lead chapel for school this week, I can stand alright for half an hour on crutches. My mouth is definitely not sprained. Coaching soccer is challenging, but again, I'm fully capable of barking out instructions. It's the home front that I feel my handicap so acutely.

This situation has been good for my pride problem. Why do I feel worthless sitting around the house (doing a blog post while my wife does the dishes)? It's partly because I derive too much worth and significance by what I do. Certainly it's fine to feel good about contributing to your household, work itself is a very good thing and being part of a family team effort is satisfying. Being honest however, based on what I am now learning, much of what I do around the house comes with the expectation of some kind of recognition. There's a sense in which I think my household contributions are what make me valued, needed, and respected. Now I'm laid up and more of a burden then a help, yet no one is complaining about it, in fact everyone seems happy to help me! What's up with that? They seem to love serving me even when I am totally unable to reciprocate. That bothers me. Why? Because I am so driven to think in terms of work equalling worth. If they love me by serving me, maybe they don't need me like I think they do? Shouldn't they be aware of their need for me? What's going on here?

God has given me a stellar wife and awesome children. Their unselfish, anxious service of their gimpy husband and father is a real show of God's grace to me. I want so badly to be recognized for what I do, yet, when I am unable to do anything, God is teaching me it is all of Him.

My current condition should be relatively short-lived but I hope I remember the attitude of service my family is exhibiting and emulate it. I hope my motivation for contributing to the household is done with a more gracious and thankful attitude going forward.


Anonymous said...

Eph. 4:12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

How blessed you are the have a family that loves you so much, and to serve unconditionally. In my few years on this earth, I have seen several men and women, ministers included were their identity is in their work, and it show up when they or down sick, injured, or retire. Or some confuse works for service. This is a question I ask myself often when on a mission trip or serving as an ATD for a bible study etc. Am I loving the work, the recognition, or am I serving God and others (denying self and putting others first). Do others see Christ in me or just me? It seems to be a constant battle between the two. I think PRIDE plays a big role here, all like recognition for what we do whether it’s working or serving. God created me for His worship and His glory; works (serving) is a natural response of those who are truly saved, who step out in faith when God calls them to serve. Serve God first, family, and then job (ministry, mission, etc.).
All that said, I feel your pain, I hate being sick or down in any way. But God has a sense of humor; it’s called the aging process.
Just sharing my thoughts. Norma

Woody Woodward said...

My dear brother, I have only been “down for the count” one time in the almost 21 years Cheri and I have been married. Like you, I felt badly about doing nothing, and the awful catheter made my ego about as low as a snakes belly, but like you also, the joy beyond words, experiencing my precious wife’s constant devoted care, combined with such absolute untiring love. So drink it in brother and rest in this “didactic” fact: God has allowed this to occur for HIS greater purpose, maybe it was to simply allow you to drink in the lavish love HE has so graciously surrounded you with.
We love you and prayed for you last evening in our HFG

Jack Sawyer said...

In many ways receiving from others can be so much harder than giving. In God's good providence, I had to live this way for several years--once my late wife, Kim, became a quadriplegic. Her circumstances took a small village of volunteers to manage. I can testify that it can be like a pinched nerve in a guy's life. My "thank yous" to others never seemed to really make me feel much better (it seemed not enough). I too wanted to do something in return. Of course, it was even worse for my late wife Kim; in fact, it was perhaps her greatest trial every day. Anytime I found some way to restore even a small level of her independence, she was enormously grateful. We both learned much in those days about our creaturely fragility, painful as it was. God's grace to you and your family as you find your way through these frustrating times.

Reepicheep said...

Good words friends. Thanks.

Brother Titus said...

Pastor, I hate to say it, but you honestly sound really bad-off. It sounds like you really need to talk to a Christian (pastor) brother about your situation to get right with God again. Please do that. I would also recommend reading Ps. 139 every day for a week, with the eyes of faith and expectancy. That really will help.

Reepicheep said...

BT, Thanks for your concern...I praise God for this situation. It's helping me confront my sin of self-sufficiency and pride. I'm thankful for many solid people of God to hold me accountable. MUCH still to learn and confront.