Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Acts of God

The last time just my mom was here without my dad, there were "acts of God," too. You know. Those things that insurance companies like to hide behind so they don't have to fork out any money.

None of you work for insurance companies, do you?

The last time, I was getting ready to start radiation therapy, and my mother came out earlier than my dad for Christmas, to provide some moral support. This turned out to be a good thing, because worse than the radiation was the Ice Storm that happened while she was here, and the 6 days without electricity. Given everything else that was going on at the time, I probably would've curled up into the fetal position and become incoherent if she hadn't been here.

This time she came here because her mother just had cataract surgery. Her mother only has one eye to begin with (you really can poke someone's eye out, you know), so it was kind of a big deal. The plan was that my mother would stay with Grandma Madeira for a week or so, drive back up and stay with me for the weekend, and fly back to my father and Ireland yesterday. Then that unspellable Icelandic volcano erupted. So . . . she's stuck here indefinitely, and it's starting to stress her out. Fortunately we have electricity over here this time, but all the same, she's here and my dad's not, and she has responsibilities on the other side of the Pond that she can't take care of, and . . . I'm pretty sure she's sick of wearing the same three or four outfits over and over again.

If the Milk Guy and I were interacting regularly anymore (which I wish we were, but we can't be), he would say, "Well, Jenn, Who controls the volcanos?"

My mother says she's been having similar thoughts lately, and I don't blame her. I have similar thoughts pretty often about lesser things. But we both agreed there's something about the Christian perspective that makes things bearable (or get-through-able) no matter how bad they get. First of all, there's the whole world God's taking care of--not just us; in the end it's kind of a relief almost to know that the universe does not revolve around me and my perceived needs. But more than that, it's also a relief to know God does care about us as individuals, and He knows what we need and what we can take and whether He causes the perceived "bad thing" or not, He's in it, to redeem it and us and make us whole.

I still don't think there's a way to talk about this stuff without sounding hopelessly trite, and when I used to talk like this to the Milk Guy, he always thought I was trying to convince myself that there was a bright side to situations where there isn't one. Sometimes I probably do that. But I do think it's true all the same. Maybe God did and maybe God didn't set off that volcano Himself. Either way, though, He is in control of the volcanoes, and He knows our times and our seasons and what we (and those around us) really need. I think it's Him, actually . . .

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