For the past several weeks, here in north Mississippi, the flu bug and the stomach bug have been ravaging households. Mine has not been immune. Fortunately, at my house, we have bedrooms on opposite sides of the house that allow me and my wife to stay apart when we’re sick. And I’ve gotta tell you, I don’t like it one little bit. When I’m sick, she cares for me; when she’s sick, I care for her. Here’s the problem. In the past week, we’ve both been sick. Now what do we do?
It’s a little bit funny, actually, kind of like two old house shoes laying in the closet. They’re all worn out, but man do they feel good. They don’t look like much (I’m speaking for myself here) but you can sleep in them. You just really like to have them around and available.
And then you can’t get to the closet. Your comfortable, old shoes are not available. That is one miserable feeling. The one thing you want the most, you can’t get–or, at least, get close to yourself. I’m sure you can identify with this if you’ve ever been ill with a stomach problem. You need that steady hand holding the cold, wet rag to your forehead when you are at your sickest. You need them to comfort you, gently rubbing your back while you moan and groan because of the pain. And then you realize that person is just as sick or maybe even more sick than yourself.
What to do? Of course, there are people we could call–church family, friends (which are one and the same). But we’ve spent over 40 years relying on one another for this care. We don’t want to hand this over to someone else. Even in sickness our bond, our promise made all those years ago, that’s what makes us lean on each other, depend on each other, and need each other.
I was lying in a dark bedroom alone the other night, chills and all, thinking–my marriage is the strongest bond I have on this earth. The only bond stronger than that is the one between me and God. Thank God for them both.