Tales from Rehab
The past two months have been the most surprising and hardest months I can ever remember. Knee replacement surgery is not for wimps. There is a lot I wish I had known, but on the other hand, if I had known it, I'm not sure I would have gone through with it. Sitting here at 7 weeks post-op, I am definitely glad I did it, but the struggle has been real and unrelenting. Fortunately God has redeemed that struggle with some important lessons that you all, the community of ECC, have taught me.
Two months ago, I posted a blog about community and how I thought about it in our Body. Since then, I have experienced the reality of community, and I have been blessed and humbled by it. I have learned what real caring is about, and how short I come in demonstrating that kind of caring for my brothers and sisters in Christ. Here is some of what I have learned:
- Persistence is important. Many of you offered to help or have encouraged me, not just once but over and over. You ask about my progress, compliment how well I seem to be walking and tell me you are praying for me, not just once but week after week.
- Community and caring cross boundaries of familiarity. I got the most encouraging cards from people I don't have contact with regularly. I cannot begin to tell you what those cards meant. Knowing you were praying for me, and hearing your encouraging words got me through those early days of recovery and rehab when I thought I would never get back on my feet again.
- You just have to DO community. I feel humbled by the examples you have set before me of caring. I need to imitate the acts and words that have spurred me on, and pour out the same kind of care and concern to others in this Body in their particular times of need. Sometimes that feels really awkward, especially when I don't know the person all that well. But with God's help, I hope to step out more in this area and become much better at encouraging others.
- Doing community does not mean doing everything for another person. Pick the thing you are good at - bringing meals, coming to pray with someone, writing notes, cleaning their bathroom - whatever it is, it will bless someone in need!
I know there is more that God has to teach me in this area. It is too easy to get caught up in my own life and busy-ness so that I miss opportunities to serve others in the Body of Christ. Small things count. Cards and notes are so meaningful. Meals are an amazing blessing. Having a friend bring me lunch, or clean my kitchen, or just sit with me and hear me whine - all of these things helped me through the pain and discouragement, and come out the other side loving Christ even more, realizing that God has indeed been with me through it all.
For that is what we do as members of this community. It's not just about showing concern. It's about pointing one another to our great Healer and Helper. You have been the Gospel in skin and bones to me, reminding me that my hope is in Him, not in a knee that works better than it did before. Thank you for showing me how true community works and what a wonderful Savior we serve together.