Limping home

            Fifteen years ago, I was privileged to attend my first General Conference of the United Methodist Church. We met in Pittsburgh, Pa. Everything was “within walking distance.” “Distance” being the operative word. One evening, we were to meet our Bishop for supper at a restaurant a few blocks from the conference center, in of course, the opposite direction from the hotel. I was walking, alone, on my way to supper, when I both heard and felt a “pop” in my right knee. Just as suddenly all the power went out of my right leg. I was close enough to a street sign to keep myself from falling. I could not walk. I was alone, and I was about six blocks from the hotel. Not good! I clutched the pole until I could walk.

I made it about half a block before the pain became so intense that I had to stop. I would rest for a few minutes and go another half block. It took two-and-one-half hours to get back to the hotel. I wanted desperately to get back to the hotel where I could rest and check my leg. I finally made it back to the hotel, hurting and hungry, because in my limp-a-thon I had missed supper with the Bishop. That knee has never been as strong since, and I have reinjured it a couple of times walking long distances. I suspect it will never be as strong as it once was.

            My grief at losing my parents has been similar. For four years I have walked as far as I could as fast as I could before the pain became too intense to go on. I have had to shut down more often than I care to admit. I just keep hoping to get to “the hotel,” a safe place where I can rest and not hurt anymore for a while. The truth is, I don’t think my heart will ever be as strong as it once was. I don’t think my resilience will ever be the same again. It has been over four years since the accident, and I am still limping toward home.

On those days when I have to stop and rest, I hope you will understand. Can anyone relate? Give yourself time and grace to rest when needed.

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