I mentioned two days ago how I discovered that I can run again. Now I’m running all time just because it feels so strange and wonderful to move through space so quickly. I can run! My legs can actually take me places!
I didn’t even know this kind of progress was possible! Many people told me with great confidence that I would get well eventually but I wasn’t at all sure that they were right. At 20 years old, I could feel my body failing fast and I was not stupid. Deep down inside, I knew the reality was that very few severely ill Lyme patients are able to reclaim vibrant health. I had only heard of one or two success stories and neither of them were completely well. The best I could hope for was a new normal.
I could barely walk during this time and had to call for help just to take the few steps from my bed to the toilet. When it was time for an appointment Brett would pack up my wheelchair and carry me to the car. It was my great grandfather’s old wheelchair that my great grandmother had lent to us. The irony was not lost on me. My great grandmother was 94 and somehow, I, at 20, needed that wheelchair more than she did. It was almost too much to bear.
Still, I was so thankful for that wheelchair. Because of that wheelchair, I was actually able to leave the house occasionally; not only for appointments but also for rare visits to Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby was the only public place I could go because it was never crowded and the music was quiet enough that I could block it out if I wore earplugs and earmuffs. It was the best thing that happened all week when I could go there.
The weakness, the sound sensitivity, the crippling pain… it all made my world so very small. It hurts my heart to even think of it… that bed, those four walls, that feeling of being trapped inside a body that was trying to kill me. Hobby Lobby was the biggest place I could go.
Just look at me now!!! I can run!!! I’m free!!! My world is the great outdoors; vast deserts and wide open prairies with no walls to stop me. I can go anywhere my two legs will take me.
I feel like just like Amahl, the poor crippled boy who finds healing in the beautiful Christmas opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” One day three traveling kings stop by Ahmal’s home looking for a place to stay. The kings tell Amahl and his mother about a mysterious child king that they are seeking:
“The Child we seek doesn’t need our gold. On love, on love alone He will build His Kingdom. His pierced hand will hold no scepter. His haloed head will wear no crown. His might will not be built on your toil. Swifter than lightning He will soon walk among us. He will bring us new life and receive our death, and the keys to His city belong to the poor.”
When the poor crippled boy hears this he is so moved that he asks his mother to let him send his crutch to the child king. In that moment he discovers that he’s been miraculously healed and begins to sing “I walk, Mother… I walk, Mother!” All who are present respond in astonishment and then Ahmal sings joyfully, “Look mother, I can dance, I can jump, I can run!”
I remember being moved to tears when I watched a video of this scene from my sickbed. The mysterious child was of course the Christ who came to bring good news to the poor, heal the sick and set captives free.
My tears were bittersweet as I watched Ahmal dancing. I always believed that because of Christ my future healing was certain but I also knew there was no guarantee that it would happen on this side of heaven. Watching Ahmal filled me with hope because that was my future too but it also made me wonder, how long would I have to wait? Years? Decades? A lifetime? How I longed for that day!
I never could have imagined that it would come so soon or that it would be life threatening allergies and a desperate experiment that would finally unlock this prison of illness. Mold avoidance? Clean air, camping and lots of showers? It’s almost absurd. Wonderfully, beautifully, joyously absurd.
Note: For my readers who want to know the details of what we did on Day 63… We set up our address at America’s Mailbox, picked up our organic latex mattress and Brett finally had a chance to get some work done.
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