Year of the Ear

As I sat in the waiting room to have a CT scan of my ear I thought the ever optimistic expression, “If it ain’t one thing, it’s another”.  It later came to me that working back in time, I could say I’ve had the Year of the Ear, the Year of the Back and Neck, the Year of the Ankle, etc.  I have a friend who is an over achiever.  She’s crammed a variety of pain into less than 4 months: kidney stones, surgery for a cut that became infected, and surgery to put a plate into her wrist that was broken in a fall. She shares the tales of her medical history with an unflappability to be admired.  I on the other hand, am flappable.  I get irritated by any physical hinderance to being free to do as I please!

All together now!  “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.  Nobody knows my sorrow.”  The inappropriateness of my song choice does not elude me.  I know these are the lyrics of an old spiritual song sung by slaves.  They knew pain and an inability to do as they pleased on a magnitude that makes my physical ailments on the level of a tiny splinter.  The spiritual continues,

Glory hallelujah!
Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down
Oh, yes, Lord
Sometimes I’m almost to the ground
O, yes, Lord
Although you see me going ‘long so
Oh, yes, Lord
I have my trials here below
Oh, yes, Lord
If you get there before I do
Oh, yes, Lord
Tell all-a my friends
I’m coming to Heaven!
Oh, yes, Lord

Which brings me to the subject of hope.

When my thoughts grumble, “if it ain’t one thing, it’s another”, I’m giving into a message of hopelessness.  Making a habit of an “if it ain’t one thing, it’s another” attitude is like changing the above lyrics to “I’m always down, no sometimes about it”.  And there certainly wouldn’t be any room in my spirit for “Glory Hallelujah!”

This old spiritual is a lesson in hope.

Hope comes from of a lot of Glory Hallelujahs:  God be praised, He’s given me reason for rejoicing!

Hope comes from a truthful perspective:  sometimes I’m up, and sometimes I’m down!  Sometimes that down is long so.  Sometimes it takes me to the ground.

Hope comes from the promise of a painfree future:  I’m coming to Heaven!

Hope comes from being loved by the One who created us.  Remember the beginning of this spiritual?

Nobody know the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows my sorrow

Well, some renditions change the words to –

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus

Jesus knows my one thing after another(s) and the good that will come because of them or in spite of them.

A loving friend who has an ear for Jesus, sent me this word of encouragement not knowing I was sitting in the waiting room for my CT Scan.

“Imagine a person totally committed to your best interests, devoted to seeing you flourish, fighting for you against all enemies, determined to eliminate everything destructive from your life, attentive to every detail of who you are, never thinking of himself at all but only of you. That is Jesus in relation to us all—sacrificial in his life, sacrificial in his death.” The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ by Fleming Rutledge

Now, this is hope! Life lived in the hands of Jesus. The One who is committed to my best interest.

Do you think it would alarm anyone if the next time I’m in a doctor’s waiting room I shouted, “Glory, Hallelujah”? I think I’ll at least try to think it.


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