What Matters More?


Last night was a really rough night for me.

After being able to eat throughout the day and feeling decent, my bowels started majorly cramping just before bed time.

Then the heartburn and hiccups kicked in.  A couple strong narcotics took the edge off just a bit, but it was a long and painful night to say the least.  And the suffering gets compounded at night when it becomes a mental battle of discouragement in addition to the pain, as my mind naturally wants to know when the setbacks are going to ever stop.  At this point I don’t know when I’m going to be able to go home from the hospital…it feels like I have so far to go sometimes.

But here is something I am grateful for last night that I want to share.

I had a dream….

It was late in the day and my family had made the last order of food at a convention of some type.  The kids were all hungry and ready to go home.  We were tired.

When our food order was placed on the warming table I didn’t get to it until another rather large family had already arrived on the scene and began to claim it.

Matter-of-factly and hurriedly I informed them that was our order and I proceeded to gather all the food and usher my family into the adjoining cafeteria room.

As I closed the door on them after successfully ‘protecting my little flock’ of a family and getting all of our food, I saw the dejected looks on their children’s faces and noticed the family wasn’t going to get any food because everything was closed and that was the last of it.

As I sat down to eat, I immediately started bawling.  I was so ashamed of myself.  I ran back out the door in tears in my dream begged the man to forgive me and to come and share our food with us.  The fact is we had plenty and probably more than we were going to eat anyway.

Their whole family with 4 or 5 kids came in and we shared a meal, and some tears, laughter, and hugs.

I woke up from the dream in tears.

Not from the pain in my chest or my bowels, but from a heart full of the joy felt from service and forgiveness and compassion.

I hoped I could live while I was awake with compassion also, and not just in my dreams.

Then in the morning after a really long night, my angel of a wife came in to see me early at about 8 am.

I was discouraged and still in pain.  And I was trying not to be negative but it was really, really hard.

But Nan managed to pull me out of it with her bright spirit, her love and compassion.  And my goal the rest of the day has been to brighten those around me with at least a smile, and a kind word, regardless of how I’m feeling.

Life is too short to live it without loving.  I’m grateful to be learning these lessons more deeply through this intense trial.  I am finding joy every day, even amidst a lot of pain sometimes.

And really, WHAT IS THE POINT of it all if we are not showing love to others in some way?

I can’t see one.

Let’s live today like it’s Truly Amazing! (because it is;)

-Aaron