My pee is radioactive. No, seriously, it is. I just went to the bathroom and for curiosity sake shut off the lights to see if it glowed. I swear it did. I saw a ring of glowing pee in the dark. During a recent medical test I was injected with a radioactive tracer substance so the doctor’s could track the flow of my cerebrospinal fluid and, voila, glow-in-the-dark urine. I even got a special little business card to carry around due to the “possibility of setting off alarms in public places (i.e. airports)” with my “radioactive-ness.” Now this I could have some fun with. And that’s good, because I haven’t been having a whole lot of fun this week. This has been a week full of medical tests, waiting rooms, needles, those sexy little hospital gowns with holes in all the wrong places AND, to top it off, my favorite “hospital socks” got holes in them and needed to be tossed (I gave birth to both of my sons in those white and hot pink heart socks with the non-skid tread on the bottom. My husband says “You know you go to hospitals a lot if you have hospital socks.”)
Your sense of humor can get morbid when dealing with hospital stays, invasive medical tests and the uncertainty of chronic illness. My husband and I used to play “make the heart monitor alarm go off”! This is a fun little game where I would slow my heart rate down to the beats-per-minute alarm threshold with some deep breathing and relaxation. We would then see how fast the nurses came running. (Unfortunately, they’d eventually catch on to us, lower the monitor’s threshold and spoil all our fun.) Can you blame us? We needed some type of diversion to pass the time. Most of what you do in hospitals and doctor’s offices is tedious waiting. Waiting for the procedure to begin. Waiting for the doctor to see you, call you…acknowledge you. Waiting to see if a medication works. Waiting for a side effect to go away. Waiting for answers. Answers that may never come. And, when they do come, they usually involve some kind of “wait and see” component to them. I hate waiting. (You too?) It can feel very dark during the wait. Waiting takes more perseverance and stamina than any race I have ever encountered.
I’ll admit, I have been battling off darkness that threatens to steal my joy today and tempts me to call off the race. I hold firmly to God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, which states God’s plans are to prosper me, not to harm me – plans to give me a hope and a future. Because of this I do have peace that no matter how much darkness is around me God’s working His good. He’s redeeming the dark moments and and is weaving his divinity into each stitch that makes up the fabric of my life. But, it is so hard to keep God’s perspective in focus. I become too preoccupied on one single stitch and how frustrating it is, or how unfair it is, or how uncomfortable it is… and, poof, my joy disappears. My joy is dictated by the right now. My stamina and perseverance falter.
But then God gives me glow-in-the-dark pee…some glowing light in my darkness that makes me laugh. It reminded me of this verse:
“I will give you treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am Lord, the God of Israel who summons you by name.”
Who would have thought radioactive urine would be used to answer a prayer I didn’t even know I had. There are treasures in the darkness that are there to remind us of God’s redeeming grace waiting to be enjoyed! Treasures in the least likely of places and times. My treasure chest today is full of quality time with my husband and meaningful talks we have been too exhausted or too preoccupied to have. I look in that treasure chest and see the precious gift of rest and time. Time to read. Time to write (hence, the blog post!). Time to pray and think. I see blessings of people met in waiting rooms and hospital hallways where we get to share some humanity and compassion with each other. I see opportunities to practice patience, grace and endurance. And, of course, I see opportunities to laugh (and set off airport alarms)!
God hasn’t forgotten that I am in a dark place. And, He hasn’t forgotten you either. Whether you are in one now, or will be in one in the future, He wants you to look into His treasure chest that He put together just for you for such a time as this. Treasures that will glow and cast light into the darkness…just like my radioactive pee.
“We have to realize that life finds us living every day with the unanswered and the unresolved. FAITH helps us to live with the unanswered. HOPE helps us to live with the unresolved. TRUST helps us to accept…and go on with the work of living.” -Mark Connoly