In the woods

At least three times, every time he has seen me in fact, my surgeon has uttered those pessimistic words: ‘you’re not out of the woods yet’. He hasn’t told me how to get out, or how to survive while I’m in there. Not great for a Wind in the Willows aficionado that’s for sure. The only way that terrified Mole could cope when he was in the wild woods was by running out of them. I’m trapped here for two years apparently.

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When the pain comes down,

Floods of kindness rise up.

Of course I never want to learn this lesson, but it happens to all of us whether we want it or not. I would guess that you probably know what it feels like to be washed up in a tough place, looking round for some kind of rescue.

A few days ago I fell on the kitchen floor and broke my hip. It wasn’t long before people arrived to help whatever way they could. Even fellow-sufferers on the ward tried their best to spur each other on. When the chaplain arrived she found herself having to pray for me and then the other two women there! Funny how, when we’re at our lowest point, thoughts of the highest power become more vital.

I was thinking that it was easy for people to help me when I was so obviously in need. But what about those who are secretly in pain, when it isn’t as clear that they need help? Someone approached me in hospital who was grieving for her friend. Because she saw my clear suffering, she was able to tell me about hers. I suppose the rule is don’t be afraid to show you are struggling because, in a strange kind of way, it might help someone else.

Of course I wish I didn’t have to learn this particular lesson so frequently, but the overwhelming blessings I encounter along the way are so great.

I truly hope that, if you are stuck right now, somebody else will stop and see your pain.

I really hope that kindness rises up for you too, just like it did for me.