A week ago I received an email from someone I know who has spent many years suffering from a terrible condition, undergoing horrific surgeries to try and relieve some of her symptoms and improve her quality of life. I met her while I was in New York seeing the same doctors at the same clinic for some of the same problems, though I thank God that what I suffer doesn’t come close to what she and her family have had to go through. I get regular updates by email about how things are going. Right this very minute she’s in surgery having all the metal rods they put in her head/neck removed and replaced. The risk is great because her bone density is shot but they couldn’t wait for the meds to her bones back up to kick in and had to do the surgery right away. The nurse aid she has supporting her and who has gone with her on several trips to NY to have tests, consultations etc done had to leave to take on other clients and she found herself alone, away from her family when she needed support the most. Her husband (who I admire a great deal for coping with everything and staying by her side through all the difficulties) was flying out to be with her when he found out that she was going to have surgery right away but his flight was cancelled. My friend was distraught (and who wouldn’t be) at the thought of facing the surgery alone. She sent out a desperate email asking people to pray. A short time later another email followed to say that somehow he’d made it onto a flight and had just arrived at the airport and would be with her soon. A little while ago I got another message from hubby saying that she was still in surgery (9 hours so far) and that the doctor had come out to see him and said the hardest part was over and it was going well.
Back to the email I got a week ago. It was titled “Don’t text and drive” and had been forwarded by several people before it got to me. If you get the email, please, don’t look at it, even if you think you’ll be fine. I thought I would be fine when there were pictures attached and a warning of graphic images. I wasn’t. I won’t describe the images other than to say it showed the victim of a head on crash between a small car and a truck. I have a strong stomach. I enjoy watching shows with medical procedures that are at times quite graphic and I didn’t expect to be so sickened by what I saw in these images. The unceremonious way the people on the scene dealt with the body parts. My thoughts went to the people who knew this man. How horrifying to think that someone who didn’t know better could forward these images to someone who knew this person. I’ve dwelt on this whole issue for a week and find that as much as I try to distract myself my mind frequently returns to the issue.
This week seems to be the week for people twittering about new stories including horrifying things that show how evil mankind can be, how sick and disturbed people can be. A man throwing his four year old daughter of a massive bridge after a custody battle (no, she didn’t survive and my heart goes by to the girl’s siblings and the innocent bystanders who saw the whole incident), people who ignored the man frozen in a block of ice in an elevator of an abandoned building… and others…
All these horrific stories and I found myself dwelling on how horrid things are. Then a verse from the bible came to mind:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
It would be easy to think that dwelling on these things is ignoring the problems in the world, but I don’t think that is true. I think when you dwell on those things in life that are noble and right and pure and lovely and admirable, then those things begin to become who you are, and when you are those things it affects the people and the things going on around you. What a better place the world could be if we all dwelt on the good things in life, we’d become more at peace, more generous, more kind, more considerate, more compassionate and we’d be out there doing more things to make the world a better place.
…So this is me. Dwelling on good things.
I added those words to my current desktop picture. Feel free to snurch this high res copy (right click & save link as) for yourself. I took this photo at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in 2007.