The Spirituality of Being Sick

Over the weekend I became terribly sick.  After a good meal, the stomach flu sacrificed it all that night to the porcelain king – and I went through some cycles I always do when I get sick.  First, I just felt terrible so I submitted to the experience because in sickness we rarely have true control.  Second, I tried to understand what was happening.  This was so I could determine if I could work the next day.  As a youth minister, I love what I do, and I hate missing what I have planned.  I googled everything that looked like what I had, and did some extensive research when I didn’t feel totally nauseous (and of course my awesome wife was assisting me and bringing me water and asking relatives what to do).  The research, which I was hoping was just going to lead to food poisoning, ended up being “Stomach Flu” and at that determination I was to be bed-ridden for a day, eat nothing but crackers and drink electrolyte water, sleep and maybe watch some movies while feeling terrible (WHICH MIGHT RUIN THE MOVIE!).

Anyways – Despite the terrible symptoms, and the dread, and odd sleep-ish-ness … I made it.  And looking back, I learned a few things about God and I.

When I’m sick:

(1) I talk to God more. I think I realize how dependent I really am…unfortunately much of the conversation is in exasperation

(2) My appetites are quelled, so I am more focused when I pray. It felt a bit like grieving.  If you don’t want to eat or be entertained what do I do?

(3) I felt cared for. My wife took care of me, my best friend called, my church showed sympathy, my facebook friends wished me well, I think people prayed for me.  I was wrapped in a warm blanket of goodness for a while.  I hope everyone gets to feel that every once and a while.

It only lasted the weekend, and though I’m recuperating and getting used to a near normal appetite again, I hope to remember and live out some of the spiritual disciplines that became more easily to me while I was sick.  Peace to you.



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