“Baby boy, what are you looking for?” I inquired of our youngest vandal son, Charlie.
Charlie was digging deep in a toy bucket, tossing this and that over his shoulder.
Fully aware there were no “maaawbles” in the house as they pose a serious choking hazard to our baby foster-love, I assure him, “Charlie, there are no marbles in here.”
Frustrated he flopped to his bottom and let out an exasperated sigh. “I fink I wost my maaawbles, and now… I cwazy.”
“Who told you that?”
“Youms said it on da phone. Youms said dat doctor finks you lost youms maaaawbles and herms finks you cwazy.”
Touched, and altogether confused, if I tell him to put his shoes on he gets buck naked and rubs pudding all over his body, but second hand conversations he fully comprehends?
But, I did in fact say that.
I do in fact feel that way – more often than not when talking to most health professionals about my chronic illness.
I know the drill…
Me: I am exhausted.
Doc: You are fat and forty.
Me: My hair is falling out.
Doc.: You are fat and forty.
Me: My bones hurt, as does my head… I do yoga, eat clean, take my supplements, and walk 15 miles a week?
Doc: You are fat and forty.
Me: I fall asleep 3 times a day, I can’t breathe through my nose… and I itch.
Doc: You are fat, forty, stop eating wheat and here… take this antidepressant for fat and forty-year-old women, who have lost their marbles.
I believed these were the only answers. I believed there was no hope. I believed I was in trouble with God for all my transgressions, especially the one with the thing at the place with the hoop-dee and the strawberry hooch and the guy with the tattoo of that one thing and the illegal fireworks at the whatchamacallit – that one time.
Certainly, that was written in stone… a bill unpaid, a curse, consequence, and sentence without parole.
A metaphorical bag of marbles spilled out across a linoleum floor, some I can catch and put back, but a couple… one, maybe two or three roll into the floor vent and are gone for the eternity.
I can’t undo those.
When the floor beneath my “fat and forty-year-old” feet is shaken, I hear those marbles roll. Just for a moment, or the better part of my 40+ years they echoed the lie of my penance.
That I have lost something, I can’t ever get back.
No clean slate.
No good bill of health.
There are things I have sought forgiveness for, like the one with the thing at the place with the hoop-dee and the strawberry hooch and the guy with the tattoo of that one thing and the illegal fireworks at the whatchamacallit – that one time.
But a God that not only forgives those kinds of things… but forgets them? Surely that is a God that is missing a marble or two himself.
Ah, but I assigned the Great I am these human traits. And yes, the Word does say as far as the East is from the West and that He remembers not and I am made clean, but…
A glass eye for a glass eye… and all that karma and voodoo. Let’s be reasonable, lest someone think I have lost it?
Lest someone believe I abuse Grace.
That it is a hyper message, that I must pay the piper – you know… get what’s coming to me.
That would make sense.
That I can comprehend.
A give and take relationship… I give and He takes, leaving me crawling on my belly in the Dracula dirt between the floor boards, looking for my missing marbles.
And while I am down there, I beg forgiveness for the one with the thing at the place with the hoop-dee and the strawberry hooch and the guy with the tattoo of that one thing and the illegal fireworks at the whatchamacallit – that one time.
Also, for every extra calorie.
Every push up left undone.
The swear word … or words.
The sorry state of my checking account and the needless hate I have for that gal from the place with the thing that we always drive past on off days. Certainly, those terrible behaviors afford me more illness, less peace, adequate wrath, and a dose of chemical imbalance saved for the wicked, the wayward, and especially the ones who really should know better.
I’d be half-baked, off my rocker, and three sheets to the wind, if I were to believe in a God that didn’t require me to wear a hair shirt and pick up the cross, in my case Hoshimoto’s Thyroid Disease, and sing the hymns of sufficient grace, knowing full well… I didn’t buy it.
Flat on my back, climbing in and out of consciousness, guilty and ashamed I did inquire, “Dear God, what am I missing? What haven’t I confessed? What can I do to make you love me enough… to release me from this dreadful sickness?”
Call me crazy, marbles lost… He said nothing.
In the silence, I knew it was Him.
The voice of the enemy sounds very distinctly like… mine.
A hateful gong of condemnation and pain. A wicked cackle of all my trespasses, especially the one with the thing at the place with the hoop-dee and the strawberry hooch and the guy with the tattoo of that one thing and the illegal fireworks at the whatchamacallit – that one time.
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A payin’ for… and an I’ll show you..
And this is not the Father in Heaven that I know and love.
You can’t convince me otherwise.
He calls Himself Father.
He promises to walk with me through the shadow of the valley of death – where no evil can come near me.
Indeed, wouldn’t believing Him be the catalyst to understand my sufferings? Not because of who I am, for if that were the case, if I were to get what’s coming… just dues and all; that is a Being whose all-knowing and proverbial marbles are safe and secure in a balanced and healthy universe sized cranium.
Here among the goofballs, half-wits, twice baked, and looney – stupid is what stupid does and sick folks are sinners in need of a clear conscious and a “spiritual discipline” from sermons on surrender, hell fire, and hard lessons… that are at least an hour long – those aren’t for me.
For such a time as this, here on the sacred ground, I kneel at the feet of a doting Father, whose ducks are all in a row and memory is perfected in His ability to remember me – and not my trespasses.
A crazed, non-created Being who always was, and sent the perfected Lamb to slaughter so that I was free to lie my throbbing head in His loving lap. Surely, I wonder why me? Most assuredly He answers, just be.
I rest my weary eyes. I ask for fruits of peace, patience, love, kindness, self-control and all things “Him” to surge through my veins providing me healing… or grace enough.
Simply to be alive with the feelings of hot, cold, bitter, sweet, pain and comfort is to know His presence.
Altogether, enough… simultaneously – too much.
My marbles might be missing, my illness might be chronic… but I am loved by an adoring Father who knows all my marbles are in His pocket where my faith grows, hope flourishes, and goodness and kindness follow me from fat and forty to sick and sixty… not matter what. I might be crazy, crazy in love with the Father who isn’t out to get me or teach me something harsh but to simply care for me and create a tapestry of trust and life abundant.
Insane… perfectly and divinely insane.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
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