Sunday, October 14, 2012

On Resiliency and Hope




          Several years ago, my eldest son was still at the university.  One day as he walked down one city street to another building in the decentralized urban campus, he saw that someone had thrown away a large cactus which lay in the trash without soil or a pot. What a shame to waste a living thing, my son thought, as he wondered how he might rescue such a thorny item.  Eventually he found some bubble wrap which allowed him to remove the cactus, which he wrapped and placed in his car until he could make it back to the farm and properly provide for the forlorn cactus.  When I saw it, I didn't think it would survive. Although it could go a long time without water, being tossed around and without soil wasn't going to contribute much to its survival.  Still, my son believed.  He placed it in the correct soil, watered it generously one time, and then allowed it to dry. He placed it in our sunny dining room by the large windows in between a tall and a short ficus, and my orange trees.  It sat without response for months, as if it couldn't accept the shock of being discarded in such an unceremonious fashion.  My son had faith that it would recover.
           My son's graduation from the university came and went. The cactus sat there, unchanged, and still silent.  Its scrapes and injuries from its time in the trash can did not heal. They remained in silent witness to the abuse it had sustained.  After his graduation from the university, he tried in vain to find a job.  It took our daughter more than two years to find a job following her university graduation, the year before our son's.  Our son networked and tried and tried, but about the only thing that went his way is that the Federal Student Loan people placed his large loan in forbearance until he finds a job.
            Last September, our son, who is also a sculptor was working in one of our buildings which is arranged as a artists studio and as a woodworkers shop. He was there to unplug heavy equipment there in anticipated of a big storm that was rolling in. Unfortunately, the storm hit before he could get back to the house. The steel roofed building was struck by lightning and apparently so was my son.  He was fortunate that the glancing strike did not cause a cardiac arrest or arrhythmia.  It did take his hearing for a period of about a week. It also placed what looked like a sunburn on both of his arms. Within a couple of weeks when the peripheral nerves in his legs began to come back on line, he was in episodically severe pain.  He is being treated by several physicians for this chronic pain issue, and of course, this interferes with his job search.
          This of course, is the reason we called a Lighting Protection contractor this year and had lightning rods, arrestors, and copper grounding wires placed deep in trenches around buildings.  Interestingly, we have since met two other men in our general area who were struck by lightning.  One was on a telephone and has eye and ear damage.  Another was outside and also had chronic pain issues for a bit more than a year. The man is fine now.  Our family is quite concerned about this and hopes that my son finds a better management strategy to the pain from this lightning strike, now more than a year ago. A TENS unit actually worsened the pain. I am trying really hard to have faith that he will recover, and soon.
            Wouldn't you know it ?   The poor large cactus that he rescued and that was silent for so long has sprouted two large and tall arms which are heading up to the light. You would not know that this was the same bedraggled and scratched cactus pulled out of a trash can so long ago.  It stands as a reminder that we should think hard before discarding anything that could be given away or used in some other way.  In also reminds us of the innate resiliency and potential of anything that God has made. Prayers for our son are always appreciated !



14 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

You will get them.

russell1200 said...

Of course we will do that.

JMD said...

I will pray for your sons total healing. It is by God's grace he is alive.

PS Hooray for the cactus...they are tough!

Dani said...

I am praying for your sons complete recovery. There is nothing worse than constant pain to disorient, dishearten and discourage one's daily activities / functioning, never mind find a job.

Have faith that, as the cactus eventually recovered from its ordeal, so will your son :)

Thank you for the story on the cactus - it is a perfect lesson on not giving up, but of waiting on God's time, as opposed to our time.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Gorges. I am hoping the physicians have some ideas, although we understand that God does the healing.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Russell !

JaneofVirginia said...

God already supernaturally called our youngest son Daniel, with a spontaneous cardiac arrest almost four years ago, with a negative autopsy.
(See www.learnedfromdaniel.blogspot.com )

We have been hoping for a quieter and less eventful time with his remaining siblings. Still, God is, and always will be, in control.

JaneofVirginia said...

Dani,
Normally, our eldest son (I leave out his name for his privacy) has a faith in God to beat the band, a lot like my own. He is wondering though, why so many ordeals. He is very bright and very talented, yet has been challenged by Crohn's disease and then a cardiac ablation for recurrent atrial fibrillation. He laughs most of the time when he relates the story with the lightning, but it is getting hard to see God's plan and a purpose for so much suffering.

Mary Ann said...

Prayers coming from Kansas for your son, with wishes for a full recovery.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thank you Mary Ann. Best wishes to you and your also.

Bobby said...

Prayers from Miss. Hoping for the best.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks, Bobby. Prayers are always appreciated !

city said...

thanks for sharing.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for your comment too.