A few weeks ago my son introduced me to a friend at church. We were doing the usual after worship chit chat before going home. She was talking about her busyness at work.
“What kind of work do you do?” I asked.
“I work at a rural clinic,” she said, “that serves people who don’t have regular access to health care.”
“That must be an interesting challenge,” I replied.
“Only three?” I asked. “A good week must be no chain saw injuries.”
“Absolutely!” she said.
We all shared a laugh.
And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Pondering.
Chain saws are not part of my life. Never have been. Never will be. They are dangerous. They cut everything really well — tree limbs and body parts.
But the thought of chain saw injuries provides an interesting, though perhaps gruesome, perspective on my days and weeks.
I’ve heard several things in recent times that can make for difficult weeks:
an injured eye that requires dark glasses at all times and eliminates driving for two weeks
a toddler who’s trying to give up naps, yet has daily meltdowns because she’s tired
a spouse with dementia and other discomforts
a beloved pet’s demise
unrelenting demands from the boss of a reduced staff
too many responsibilities and not enough time
the long expected death of a parent
You have your own “beyond difficult” days and weeks, that repeat, that pile up, that refuse to go away or resolve into a better state. We all have them. That’s life — as they say.
My challenging times are always more difficult and personal to me — than they are to you, as you observe from beyond my space. I appreciate your presence as I walk the path of uneven steps, nearly insurmountable obstacles, and never-ending expectations that I keep going.
Perhaps . . . Perhaps . . . in a quiet moment . . . you could step nearer . . . and say
“At least you have no chain saw injuries today.”
I would look at you like you have three heads. “What? Are you kidding?”
And then we would laugh. Out loud. Belly laughing. Guffawing. Right in the middle of a terrible week.
“You’re right!” I would finally say, after checking my arms and legs. “No chain saw injuries. I think I can make it now.”
We would hug.
You would step back. I would go on.
No chain saw injuries. My week is already better.
Until next Tuesday . . .