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Meal train

by davesandel on July 20th, 2021

Tuesday, July 20, 2021                                   (today’s lectionary)

Meal train

Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord swept the sea with a strong east wind throughout the night and so turned it into dry land.

Andi has put together a “meal train” for Margaret and me, and I forgot to include a link to that site yesterday. Andi made the webpage beautiful. Here’s the link:

I hope Margaret will feel more like eating soon. Just a few bites a day, a little milk … and lots of nausea on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. A doctor finally returned our phone call yesterday and prescribed some anti-nausea medicine, so maybe she’ll feel better. The oyster casserole she made on Saturday afternoon is still tasty, I’m sure.

When the water was thus divided, the children of Israel marched into the midst of the sea on dry land, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

Telling our story in the midst of the best story in the Bible is exciting and challenging. How much nausea might there have been in 600,000 people? Where were those famous Egyptian doctors when you needed them? Shouldn’t we have stayed back in the rehab hospital where things were more predictable?

The Egyptians followed in pursuit; all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and charioteers went after them right into the midst of the sea. In the night watch just before dawn the Lord cast a glance through the column of the fiery cloud and they were thrown into a panic. With that they sounded the retreat before Israel, because the Lord was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Throwing ourselves into the western medicine stream means following the path they set for us. But when we flounder and begin to feel like we’re going to drown, when no one seems to hear our cries for help, then we had better pray and be still. We must do what we can and then wait well.

Which American do you know who is good at that? But any of us can learn, at least when we don’t get what we want in thirty seconds. Years ago at the Chiara Center in Springfield, Illinois Margaret and I led an interactive discussion based on Robert Wicks’ book Riding the Dragon. Engage the darkness, he says, but before doing anything, build a barrier of simplicity. Learn the art of stillness, and don’t underestimate the value of empathy toward yourself. Sit quietly, breathe deeply, and trust that God’s path, though it may head downward, is always good.

Then the Lord told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians. So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea flowed back. The Egyptians were fleeing when the Lord hurled them into its midst. And not a single one of them escaped.

Both of us are oh, so tired. Margaret’s tired because she needs food. I’m tired because I need sleep. Both our lives have many facets, and we find much joy in doing things here and there, and everywhere, for each other and for others in every corner of our world. Turn left, then right, there is another jewel of life to pick up and polish. Just beside me are nine pill bottles and a pill box. We need two of those pillboxes, one for morning and another for evening, but I can start with the morning meds and get another one later.

My pills need to be sorted and dispensed as well; my own 28-day dispensing box is empty today. I put together a shower seat and adapted a toilet riser, and administered Margaret’s antibiotic while Ryan watched. Elizabeth, a physical therapist, visited us. This morning I spent awhile getting groceries at Aldi and finding out how to get Margaret’s handicap card (I have to find the right place and get there by 7 am to avoid the long drive-up line).  This afternoon I picked up her anti-nausea medicine.

The children of Israel had marched on dry land through the midst of the sea, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel on that day from the power of the Egyptians.

At Sam’s, where I picked up the medicine, a sudden squall stranded dozens of shoppers, mostly moms with kids, under an overhang. Their carts and dollies were packed with colorful cardboard boxes of food. The rain poured down, and they waited for it to stop. I walked through the downpour with a small umbrella; the water felt so good on this 93 degree day.

But I didn’t have kids, and my little plastic pillbox wasn’t going to dissolve in the rain. Count the blessings, name them one by one.

Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory. And you brought us in and planted us on the mountain of your inheritance, in the sanctuary, O God, which your hands established. Let us sing unto the Lord, because our Father loves us and will come to us.

(Exodus 14-15, John 14, Matthew 12)

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