Saturday, June 24, 2017

Grace and time

God is Great.

  There has been so much growth and love in my heart that I am amazed. God's grace has lifted so much sadness and pain from my heart.  A few years ago I lost a cousin to cancer. My sister and I drove to Chicago for the funeral.  I rarely see my extended family.  I love them but like so many families we don't see each other except for funerals.

    Of the group of us who grew up together,  I am the youngest by more than 4 years.   In my extended family, there was a great deal of abuse, addictions, incest, rape, prison. I mean, you name it and someone in my family probably did it.  So, this week I realized that the molestation I endured at the hand of one of my cousins was a lesion which was passed on to him.  He is just a cog in the wheel. No, I am not excusing him, but I see things differently.  I see him as a victim as well.  I see him as a teen with too much of the wrong information.  I was able to see him through an adult lens.

    I saw a man killing himself with a drug addiction and it made me sad for him.  I don't wish that sort of pain on anyone.  I saw him as someone trying to dull his pain.  I did not want to add on to that.  I was able to forgive him.  I called him a few weeks later and told him so.  And while his response was flippant, a few months later he had  gone to rehab, joined a church and a work program and looked so much better.

    I do not assume that any of his progress had anything to do with me.  But, I am so glad that God lifted that pain from my spirit.  I thing that He did the same for my cousin.  I am so amazed by His grace.


I Am Foreign To Myself

   I am carrying around a great deal of shame today, and I don't do shame well.  This past week one of my co-workers expressed that he wasn't feeling well (specifically he said his legs hurt because he had done a great deal of walking for the previous two days), so I asked if he could come in to work with me.  During the evening I asked him several times if he was feeling well, and he always said yes.  I assumed he was just tired and left it at that.  We talked but I noticed that his typing was jumbled, I told him to fix them but, again deferred to his assurances that nothing was wrong.

     During the night one of the supervisors came in to take an exam and during that time my coworker fell out of his chair.  I assumed he had dozed off, so my initial reaction was a nervous giggle.  I asked if he was ok because he had difficulty getting up.  I chalked it up to being sleepy and again he was fine.  I was certain that he was embarrassed, but I didn't believe that he was ok.  The supervisor just looked at him with disdain and kept on working.  I felt that I would have embarrassed him by running over to him, so I didn't.

    He stood to go out and I noticed that he stumbled.  I asked if he needed me to do anything, the reply was no.   He left and I was so uncomfortable with worry that I asked him to call me.  I assumed he was just sleepy, wanted to believe he was just sleepy, so I told him to try some coffee or a soda.

    An hour later he fell and injured himself.  His glasses cut his brow, he had a gash on his chin and knee and an abrasion on his arm.  He didn't tell anyone he fell and came back to the building.  I ended up calling ems for him.  He refused to go to the hospital.

    Now, let me say, I know I am not responsible for taking care of a grown man who won't admit that there is something wrong.  He could have, at any time, let someone know that he was not feeling well.  However, I suspect that he generally operates at that level and ignores how he feels. I get that I cannot change that he refused help all evening.  I also know that part of the reason he did not immediately call for help is because he didn't want to be ridiculed by other employees.

   The source of my shame is that I knew better and ignored what I knew I should try to do.  I ignored the alarm bells that went off and made me watch him closely.  I ignored my better self; I ignored the part of me that knows I have to do the right thing.  I should have pointed out what I was seeing to him and our supervisor.  But, I did not.  I knew he was not right and I just watched.   Who does that?

    I was never that person.  I am not that person.  If I am that person then I have become foreign to myself, or I am delusional, or both.   None of these options appeal to me.