Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Five

I stopped by Introspectreangel's blog and am swiping from her: the assignment is to respond to five words....

1) Vineyard--this one gets me to the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, with those hired at the last, to work only one hour, being paid a full day's wage just as those hired at the beginning of the day. My former pastor preached on this recently, and noted how easy it is for us who are white, educated, employed in the US to identify with those who worked all day and felt cheated, whereas for some in the world who would give anything for any work at all, any way at all to feed themselves and their own, a God whose generosity was like that of the vineyard's owner would be a source of overwhelming hope and joy. A point well taken indeed.
2) Root--I am filled with frustrations of late (employment stalled for awhile owing to a false positive on a fast drug screen; nothing can happen until the FULL drug screen comes back from the lab, which may be next week, and will HOPEFULLY resolve the false positive; also, this brings up my annoyance at my former denomination which never acknowledged my withdrawal from their ordination process, telling me how important I was NOT to them, also my sense that some in my hoped-for new job would rather someone else had been hired, too bad for them!) and I need to get back to some root sense of connection with God's presence. It is amazing how just sitting and reading morning prayer helps.
3) Rescue makes me think of Toby Wolfhound who is across the room from me practicing his loveseat utilization. He is learning many ways to position himself for comfort on the loveseat, truly a proper Irish Wolfhound if there ever was one. He was not a "rescue" but a rehome; nonetheless, some of the problems of rescue dogs (lack of socialization principally, and lack of human contact leading to fearfulness) are his. He is progressing well but of course slowly. Such a good puppy.
4) Perseverance is what I need a dose of to get through the annoying nature of the getting-employed process. And it will be what I need to establish myself, once actually on board assuming the drug test fiasco works. (Dr. Google has told me which of my PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS, hello, is likely responsible.) Perseverance and trust. I feel a little rubbed raw by the past year or so, ready to see the worst a bit prematurely, and I have a lot of stored-up annoyance and anger. Grumble.
5) Divided is how I feel inside when my membership in the Self-Doubt Club (thanks to Prof. Larry Graham for this image) moves into the foreground. I am torn between the perception that in the moment I am surrounded by incompetents and the deep suspicion that perhaps there is something wrong with ME.

I think I'll go snuggle my puppy for awhile....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

With thanks for the prayers

Wonderful news: the young man about whom I posted, who was in a coma, has emerged from the coma and is able to recognize and talk with relatives. He is off the mechanical ventilator. Long-term prognosis is still unclear, because of organ damage and internal injuries. But I thank you, as do others closer to him, for the prayers. His closer relatives hope that knowing that people all over the world have been pulling for him will help him cope.

Also good news: I have been offered the chaplaincy job I applied for some time ago, and I'm very excited. It is part-time, on-call work, but that is how one gets "a foot in the door" in that field in this part of the States. It is hospice work, which I love. I will have the chance to work with some folks I have worked with before, and it will be a challenge but also a wonderful opportunity.

And Toby Wolfhound, meanwhile, makes me laugh 100 times a day. I have told him that a puppy's job is to make things better, and he is applying himself to the task. As can be seen above, he has mastered the art of paper shredding/recycling, and Awful Mad Kitty is still in one piece although rather chewed. Toby may be able to get work in Records Management because of his talent for shredding, but it is early days yet. As he matures he may develop additional abilities. Like digging. He is very shy with others but very silly in the safety of his new home. Also, having been outdoors with minimal shelter his first five months, he has no desire to be left out AT ALL. And he likes, especially, being in where it's cool. I've been taking all 3 dogs walking at once, which has to be a sight, but helps Toby's confidence. If I didn't know that he feels that the World is a Terrifying Place, I would think he'd had a good time this morning. (I think he doesn't want to lose face by admitting that it is sometimes exciting and fun to go on walks.) I'm glad he is mine. It would take a team of teams of wild horses to get him away from me!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Various updates

No news about the young man referenced in my last post. His injuries were very grave and the doctors and family were "waiting to see" how things went. My Hebrew Bible professor made note, in a poetry class, of the dramatic mood swings in some of the Psalms; they remind me of what it is like having a loved one in ICU. A number is better than expected: euphoria! Until the next set of numbers, with new problems.

Toby Wolfhound is quite possibly the sweetest puppy in the world. It took him about 12 hours or thereabouts to decide that I was someone important, perhaps his Mommy, and he has been wonderfully affectionate. He LOVES the terrors, who in turn are teaching him Very Bad Things. He is really scared of the big wide world; in the world he inhabited before, there were lots of dogs and a person or so, and to his amazement the situation appears reversed once we leave our yard. It seems he can scarcely imagine so many people; he is gobsmacked, he wonders why on earth there are so many of us. I sympathize. Toby loves to be snuggled; all 75 pounds of him. He likes to lie on his back with front paws tucked for a chest scratch/belly rub, and he likes it if I stretch out with him for a nap. His temperament is quite soft and shy although he does love to play with the Terrors, especially the Oldest and Bossiest Terror, and goes flying through the air to land with a big thump in front of her, or on top of a toy. I've gotten him a toy shaped like a cartoon cat--it's called Awful Mad Kitty--and he loves to pounce on it, shake it vigorously, and chew it. I may be creating a monster by saying, "Toby, GET that cat. GET THE CAT." He's just so funny, so intent, puppywise, in his play. That's one of the things about giant breeds that both makes one laugh and drives one over the edge: here is this big dog, bigger than many retrievers, and he is all puppy, all the time. He really, really isn't mature; he really, really DOESN'T know much. But he is surpassingly cute and huggable, and what could be better?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Horrific news

This morning I learned that a young man, a relative of mine through marriage, is in hospital, in a coma, after what may have been a suicide attempt. His survival is questionable; if he does survive, he may have a lot of continuing severe problems from this situation. It is impossible to know what would be "best" for him. His extended family is devastated. His immediate family has already endured the deaths of two of his siblings; how does one go on? How much tragedy can one family, can one mother, absorb and still put one foot in front of the other?

The young man was, as a child, molested by a priest. For him, that experience was utterly destructive. Something in his spirit was, it seems, irretrievably broken, he could not recover, his life has not been good since. Perhaps he had underlying vulnerabilities; don't we all? but his story carries that chill of encountering radical evil, his life carries the agony of radical suffering. No amount of "everything is part of God's plan" theology can come close to touching the suffering of this man and of everyone who has loved him. The worst CAN happen, and in his case, whether he lives or dies, it has happened.

Pray, please, for the whole extended family of this man--cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, mother. Pray that the hospital crew caring for their loved one may be competent and kind, pray that they may have the supports they need in the days to come, pray that somehow they may know peace.