I was knocked on my backside by a horrible sinus infection nearly 3 weeks ago. And, I'm not sure it's done with me yet. I've managed to get a few posts up, but the pounding in my head and ears made it pretty hard to think. It was the illness version of Harrison Bergeron, (an awesome short story by Kurt Vonnegut). In Vonnegut's story, everyone is made intellectually equal. Those who are "too intelligent" are fitted with mental handicap radios in their ears that transmit loud, distracting sounds to keep them from thinking. I simply couldn't think due to being sick...and that's about where the similarities end, but do read the story!
While trying to not infect the rest of my family with my cold, I did think quite a bit about illness. The last couple weeks I've barely been able to pray - my whole world was out of whack. It reminded me of a discussion from grad school about the blessing and witness of illness. If you're like me, then you just say, "Huh?! How is being sick a blessing?"
Here are the basics: people who are sick - and I mean really sick - and keep their faith are a blessing to the rest of the community because they are witnesses of Christ. Think about someone you know who is really sick and has managed to keep their faith; he/she is inspiring. Their daily struggles put minor annoyances and inconveniences into perspective.
Speaking of perspective...all I had was a sinus infection, what the heck am I crabbing about? Being sick is...well, it stinks! And it reveals the other dimension of the blessing and witness of illness. I am never so happy for my health as when I get over a long bout of yuck and I will be doing cartwheels in the front yard when this infection is finally OVER! I will be praising God at the top of my lungs (and I won't even have to cough)!
Take a moment today to pray for someone who is sick. Maybe it's a friend or family member who has been a witness of Christ to you in their long illness. Maybe it's for your sister or brother who just can't kick their cold. Whoever it is, your prayers will be a blessing.