Worn, sadly this poem is the perfect summary of the past few weeks. Tired and worn before the day even begins, all I can think of is the delight of crawling into bed and taking a very long nap. My mind full of task pushes and prods me to work, reminding me of all the things that must be done, but like a car with a drained battery, it is all that I can do to sputter to life for a few moments and crawl a few feet before limping to the side.
I thought that since my iron deficiency anemia has once again raised its ugly head, draining my energy, causing my heart to race, and leaving me in a mental fog, that I would share this little poem inspired by my battle with chronic health issues.
Tired, Tired, I Feel so Tired
Tired so tired!
My body feels so tired.
Like a weary shorn out rag I walk around in a worn out daze.
My hallow body feels ancient and weighted down from some unseen place deep within;
As if an indivisible foe is sucking the energy from deep within.
I struggle to stay focused.
I desperately push on,
But my endurance is gone.
Even my hunger is diminished,
As my empty stomach trembles at the wearisome
and draining thought of food.
Oh who would believe that an invisible bug could cut a grown being down so completely?
Could bring them crawling to their knees.
That a microscopic organism could invade a body composed of billions of cells,
And bring it halting to the ground.
Robbing the body of its vital fluid and nutrition,
Stealing the vibrant glowing spring from its once happy free flowing step,
And freezing the elastic stretch that gives life and freedom to the body.
Such a miniscule molecule,
But the power to debilitate is locked so cunningly and curiously within.
The power to slow down expansion,
The power to make humanity so ill,
The power to destroy instead of uplift,
The power to devastate and destroy nations,
The power to kill both big and small.
What a little molecule,
What a little virus.
So insignificantly microscopic,
Yet it can hold the fate of many under its whimsical rollercoaster control.
So the sad story goes with sin.
It is just a miniscule microscopic sin.
It is just a wee small fraction of a dot to hold onto.
It cannot possibly kill or maim.
It is too small to do any real harm.
You cannot possibly compare it to any of the real killers like stroke and heart disease.
Mine is just a small unnoticeable little cherished blot that it cannot possibly lay down roots and smother my heart.
Why I have it so well stuffed and tamed that it cannot go anywhere.
It is so confined into that back corner that it cannot possibly reproduce and do anyone or anybody any harm.
How can you claim that one little sin such as mine is so wrong?
How can one little miniscule germ kill hundreds,
How can one virus bring one metropolis halting with heart pounding fear to its knees?
One little sin,
One little stain,
One little stubborn willfully cherished corner,
And some day the day may come when just like an out of control mutant toxic virus it will flourish and spread,
Overflowing and choking out the fresh healthy cells that stand between it and sunshine,
Killing off all the noble and pure desires of the heart.
Destroying your longings to live a pure and righteous life.
But even if that day should never come.
One longingly cherished sin,
What is the price?
What is the cost?
At whose ultimate expense will the price be paid?
How many will see and walk away?
How many will see and stumble?
How many will see and follow your example?
When the day of reckoning comes will you want to turn and walk away?
Will you finally want to part company with it then?
If you have not begun the struggle now,
Will you suddenly be ready just because Jesus has shown up in the clouds of glory?
Or will you find that you have paid the ultimate price for living with and flittering with a deadly virus?
For many the question of what one’s legacy will be seems odd, even uncomfortable. For some the idea of a legacy is something to be bothered with only by the rich or the very old. Maybe it was being sick and spending days bedridden on the sofa, or the thought that one day soon my life’s record would be brought be for God, but for me I could not help but wonder what type of legacy I was leaving. I often found myself asking if this were my last day, how would I be remembered? If something were to happen and my life were to flash before my eyes, would I blush with shame or smile with joy?
As I pondered the answers to those questions, I realized that as discomforting as it is, there is reason for us to ask this question while we have time to consider the answer and make a change. Because it would be a sad thing to wait until most of our golden opportunities to do good, our best chance to bring joy to the hearts of those we love have slipped away, to reflect upon our actions and realize that it is a record of neglect and wasted days. That by our actions big and small, by our neglect of little cares and duties, we have created a past full of broken relationships, hurt words, and missed opportunities.
As I sat in my curled up ball of pain, I could not help but wonder how sad it would be to reach my last day and look back upon my life and realize that the world was no better off for my existence. And that neither friend nor family would feel the need to shed a tear by my grave, but would instead feel a sense of relief that I was gone. That was not the kind of life record that I wanted to meet.
The more I pondered this troubling question, the more I realized that taking some time here and there to reflect upon the course of our life is necessary. It is good to take a few minutes here and there to consider the vast quantity of words that spill so easily from our racing tongues to see if they are of a nature that uplifts those around us, or the type that rips apart the tender hearts of those we love.
That it is important to routinely look at the road of life to determine if it is the right road. Or else how will I know if I am traveling a path that will make me as useful as I can be or one that is tending to a cold selfishness that has no concern for anything but self-gratification?
It is from these thoughts and questions, as I asked myself where was I going, what type of character was I building, that this simple poem was inspired. I hope that you not only enjoy this humble poem, but that it is inspires you to take a few minutes to examine your life to determine if you are creating the legacy of life that will bring a smile to your face or one that will cause you to shed tears of sorrow.
Far in the Distance is a poem that sprung from the many days of pain that I spent looking out my window dreaming of what it would be like to be healthy and free to wander the world. To have the energy required to travel down the numerous little side roads that begged me to pull over and explore them as I looked out my backseat window watching the world scurry about.
As I road past or looked out my window I would imagine what it would be like to live in that little home, to sit under the covering boughs of that particular tree with my textbook, or browse through the isles of that little shop tucked in the corner. From there my thoughts would take flight to other corners of earth that would always remain a mystery. I would imagine what fun it would be to hop on a train or plane and visit corners of the earth far and wide. To see new places, meet new people, and learn first hand about cultures that I have only seen on TV or read about in books.
It is from this longing for adventure that this simple poem sprung. I hope that you enjoy it.
In some ways, after years of being chronically ill, I have found myself becoming s somewhat cynical of the world around me. It is not something I set out to do, and it is an attitude I try to repress, but years of discouragement and disappointment take their toll.
Friendships that you thought would last a lifetime come to a quiet end as life for them continues and you remain an frustrated prisoner of pain. Caught up in the excitement of a big new world begging for them to explore, the idea of visiting an old school chum locked in time soon loses its appeal. Thoughts of that old friend are replaced with the joy of reaching new milestones such as graduating from college, getting the first job, dating, marrying, buying a home, and having children. And without meaning for it to happen you have been reduced to a memory entitled “What was her name again.”
For years, in between my bouts of debilitating pain, I have been quietly writing. Creating folders of poetry, short stories, and even a book that sit quietly on my bookshelves waiting for the rare occasion when I would pull them off the shelf and read them. And that is where I expected them to stay all the days of my life gathering dust and growing yellow with age, because I had no idea how to share them with the world.