Holy Anticipation

Last night I had to be at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church for an alto rehearsal at 6 :15.  Ever since my accident, I don’t see well in the dark.  I don’t know exactly why this is or what happened to injure my eyes but something did.  As a result, I don’t drive at night which is a real pain in the neck.  I couldn’t find anyone to take me so I decided to take the bus.  I only needed to get it about an hour before I needed to be there so I figured it would be okay.

Of course I worried about it.  “What if I get on the wrong bus?  What if I pull the string to signal the driver to stop at the wrong place? What if I look like a jerk because I’m not familiar with the route?”  It’s interesting because Mark Ramsey’s sermon at GCPC this past Sunday was about Mary’s song and it was called “What We Do While We Wait…..We Worry.”  (The picture is “Magnificat!” by Sister Mary Grace Thul and was printed in the bulletin.)


We had an email exchange about parts of it yesterday before my bus trip.  I was especially bothered by one of his statements in the sermon: “…we find that anxiety has, by God’s grace, become holy anticipation and against all appearances, and against all odds —that literally saves our life.” It’s funny but when I reframed my worry this way, I wasn’t so stressed.  By the time I was ready to go, I was okay. I think perhaps God’s Spirit was at work.

I met my friend, Donnie, on the bus.  Donnie was homeless and he recently moved into an apartment.  He knew everyone on the bus which helped folks to begin talking to each other.  I discovered another woman was concerned about getting her connection as well.  When we got to the station, it was just in time for me to catch my bus.  However, I didn’t know which one it was and by the time I figured it out, it had pulled out.  I ran after it screaming, “Wait!  Wait!”  A family with two young children were nearby waiting for their bus and they told me that once the driver closes the door it’s not opened again. 

So I went into the bus station to try and figure out if another bus was going to come.  The guard sitting behind the information booth ignored my questions so I turned around and asked the other riders.  I was told another bus would come in about a half hour and I could wait.  I looked at my watch and saw I had 35 minutes until rehearsal began.  I said, “Shoot, I bet I could walk there faster!”  Another woman nodded and said, “Yep you could.” 

I had no idea how far on Merrimon GCPC was but I figured I’m in good physical condition and it couldn’t be too far so that’s what I decided to do.  My first problem was trying to figure out how to get to Merrimon from the bus station.  Folks pointed me the right way but my spatial orientation issues got me all confused.  I asked several folks how to get there but I didn’t write what they said down and I ended up walking all over downtown.

By the time I finally figured out where Merrimon was it was dark and I had only 15 minutes before the rehearsal began.  I thought about going back to the bus station to catch that bus but I wasn’t sure how to get back to it.  So I trudged on in the dark. I considered stopping at one of the bus stops and waiting for the bus, but I do hate being in darkness outside like that. After a few feet, it is total darkness and it’s a bit scary not knowing what is out there so I decided walking was the better option. 

It always helps me to think of a saying or a Scripture verse when I’m stressed out inside.  I thought back to Mark’s sermon and tried to come up with that phrase that calmed me down before but all I could come up with was “holy *********!  I decided that wasn’t the right phrase and walked on.

When I got to the McDonalds next to the church, the bus passed me.  When I arrived at the rehearsal I was a sweaty mess and was panting too hard to sing a note. Since my brain can handle only so much stimulation and my little journey began at 5 o’clock, by 7:45 I could tell I needed to “rest my brain.”   One of the rest rooms has a couch so I went there, put in my ear plugs and turned out the light for a few minutes.  

I am thankful that God gives me, and others, the strength we need to live in our challenging, wonderful world.  

 

Double vision

I am looking for stickers that I can put on my patch again.  I had a whole lot of them when I lived in Atlanta because there for a while I was wearing a patch all the time due to my double vision. However, after having eye muscle surgery back in 1998 (or something like that) I had double vision that was corrected with prism lenses.

I had a therapist back when I was in rehab who came up with making this funky patch.  It worked but I always decorated it with stickers and I had a whole collection I could change with my moods or outfits.  I had to have five or six surgeries (or something like that.  I don’t remember numbers well!) because the muscles kept moving.  However, the last time I had an appointment with my Optometrist, we sent the numbers to my Ophthalmologist in Atlanta and he said it wasn’t bad enough to do surgery again.

That was six months ago but I guess I should look up the date again because it does seem worse now.  Perhaps I need to have it checked again.  The truth is, I really don’t want to deal with it so I haven’t made an appointment yet and in the mean time I have decided to wear my patch more often.  I always wear one on my reading glasses but I want to find a way to make my patch more interesting when I wear it out and about.

There is an art to finding stickers to decorate the patch.  They have to be small enough so they aren’t too distracting to others when they talk to me. I’ve been able to find many large ones and I ended up buying a few sheets that had different sizes on them.  I do want to find some moons or rainbows though.  I had some before but I threw them away and so far I haven’t had any luck finding any.  I hope I can find a sticker with a rainbow or a moon on it.

Eyes

On Good Friday, Michael and I went to Atlanta for my follow-up appointment with my eye surgeon. I had my fifth eye muscle surgery two weeks ago and I must say I’m getting a little tired of them. My vision isn’t right and I almost hoped he would say I needed another surgery. However, I don’t really want to go through another surgery so I was in a bit of a quandary. He measured my double vision and said it isn’t quite bad enough for another one. It still might improve some since my brain has to process the change and this hasn’t happened yet.

The worst part about it is reading. It’s hard to explain but pictures or dark writing on the side will bleed over the main area of my vision. This is very annoying especially since I read a lot. It makes me tired. I’ve started to listen to books-on-tape so so I don’t have to read the books. I’m still in the dark ages because now I think you can put the books on an ipod or another device to listen to them. I’m just now using my first lap-top and they have been around for a while.

I’m a bit bummed by this but I’m trying not to let it get me down. I’m glad this is my only physical issue. I have to preach at Circle of Mercy this Sunday so I printed out the sermon even larger than normal since the words tend to be a bit difficult to read now. The hardest part is turning the pages without getting them stuck! I think I’ll feel better as time goes on.