No, I won’t do it. I refuse to write another blog about getting sick in Mexico. I’m not going to do it.
Can I tell you something personal and gross? It really does have a larger implication on the blog and also our whole mission at Losingourlives… I promise. Okay, so I’m sitting there in a room in the ER on a little portable bed pan making brown water while hooked up to an IV completely dehydrated and exhausted and my lovely wife walks across the room and starts scratching my back and says, “You’re doing great, babe. I’m so proud of you.”
Let me tell you, there are few things that I’ve done in my life that have been more completely humiliating than what I was currently doing… actually, come to think of it, that was one of the lowest moments of my life. Helpless. I felt utterly and completely helpless. Pleading with God to somehow take away the constant onslaught of the throwing up and the brown water. And there, right in the middle of that 22 hours of misery, my wife is there cheering me on and scratching my back.
What is that? Was she dropped on her head as a child too many times? Did the antibiotics impair the part of her brain that had good judgment and the ability to distinguish between disgusting and worthy of praise? I mean, something wasn’t right with her.
Jump back four hours and there she is like a little soldier with a giant backpack loaded and ready for an overnight visit to the hospital. She saw me wearing out and losing the fight with my sickness and decided to go all George Bush on my stomach bug and make a pre-emptive strike. She was going to war for me whether I wanted her to or not.
She insisted that she carried everything to the car. The shivering weak pile of fever-bones that I was didn’t talk back. She hopped into the giant Toyota that we previously had finished fixing the week before and drove to a Mexican gas station.
Can I just add a side note saying that heaven help you if you get in my wife’s way whilst she is driving her sick husband to the hospital? I must have whispered under my breath “It’s your day” to at least a half dozen vehicles and more than a dozen pedestrians as she roared towards the border.
She kept the speed at a steady, what’s the speed that describes when-you-want-to-vomit-but-you-can’t-because-you-haven’t-had-anything-to-drink-all-day-but-you-really-wish-that-you-would-have-because-wow-you-are-going-fast-and-feel-like-throwing-up? Alright, before you start reaching for the keyboard to write my wife a strongly worded (and detailed) argument against speeding in times of trauma or difficulty, remember that A. anything faster than a walk made me want to vomit and B. Mexico has way different rules.
She did all of that! And when my calve muscles gave out due to cramps on the way through the doors at the ER, she threw her little arm around me and told me to lean on her.
Selfless love felt unlike anything I’ve ever experience before. And it made me feel things that I didn’t think I would. After reading the Bible for most of my life and having a pretty decent grasp on the sacrificial one sided love that God has for us, I thought that I would feel the same feelings towards someone who showed me that same kind of love: thanks, reciprocal love, awe, and a desire to know more about that being who loves me so completely. But, this had the opposite effect on me.
Instead, I felt unworthy, indebted, ashamed that I didn’t love her more fully, and I was overwhelmed with the thought that I would pay her back as soon as the opportunity arose. Can you believe that? Can you believe that scale of pride existing in my heart while I was literally pooping on a potty-trainer?
In the two recovery days that I spent in Las Cruces I was once again bombarded with images of celebrities or models with their tiny bellies and giant boobs. I once again winced as I thought of the countless boys going in and out of stores all over the world getting their brains wired with the thoughts, “These women are more valuable than all of the other women because they are beautiful. Do you see any misshapen or pimple-faced girls on these covers? Those girls aren’t as important. Pursue these perfect girls. Give your time, money, affection, and attention to these girls, but shun and make fun of girls who aren’t as pretty… we do.”
I look at my wife as I hold her in front of our mirror. Her fake tooth is a slightly different color than her other ones, and her hair is a little thin on top, but, she’s beautiful in a way that photoshopped women could never be. She loves me completely, simply, passionately, and without the expectation that she’ll be paid back. I am humbled by her love for me and I’m constantly trying to learn new ways to love her better.
I know that process doesn’t end. Then again, do I really want it to?
Until next time,
Lose your life!
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died forus sinners.” Romans 5:3-6