“Carole, this is your Uncle.”
“Uncle George, what a wonderful surprise! How are you?”
Last August, I mentioned Uncle George, and again in early March of this year after a bicycle accident landed him in ICU. He spent five weeks in the hospital followed by a few weeks in rehab. Uncle George is home now and making phone calls.
“Well, I’m doing pretty well, considering. I’m able to walk around the house without a cane but take it with me when I’m outside. I’ve mowed the yard and part of my neighbor’s, too – it’s a ride on mower, you see.”
“Are you driving?”
“Oh yes, we go to church but don’t stay long. I need to prop up my leg or my ankle swells. You know, Carole, I don’t remember much from the first two or three weeks after the accident, and what I do remember isn’t pleasant. But if you don’t learn something from an experience like this, well, shame on you.”
I agreed. We can learn a great deal about ourselves from adversity.
Soon after we hung up, Uncle George texted me what he’d learned from his experience, 2 Corinthians 16-18:
16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18 because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be see; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
It is beautiful here at Vanaprastha, a glorious spring after the adversity of winter. This year, the mountain laurel and other flowering trees and bushes are putting on quite a show. Mountain breezes carry the scent of blossoms and sounds of birds calling and chattering. Strawberries, in season now, taste particularly sweet. My hands dig into soft dirt while transplanting vegetables whose produce we’ll enjoy come summer and fall harvests.
The seasons of life are temporary and pass quickly. Most of God’s creation, happening all around us, we cannot fathom. But if we experience even a miniscule portion of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures, well, good for us.
Thanks for calling, Uncle George.