The day felt like a sheet of blank paper and I was a broken pen. And it wasn't just one day--there were three of them in a row. I didn't ask Gertrude to come over to sit with me as I lay there alone in my bedroom, because...I don't know why. I'm just not like that.
Pain has a way of drawing out the person you really are. I hate asking for help because in the past when I had ailing people in my life I used to judge them. Why weren't they healthy like me? They must have brought it on themselves. How foolish.
Now I'm the aging, weak woman lying there in bed with my shoulder streaked with pain. It's been coming and going for so long it's changing my personality.
Today I had another attack of shoulder pain. I've been getting therapy for it but sometimes it's not enough. I've learned to get around and get on with important tasks.
So anyway, finally I felt well enough to go over to Gertrude's place again and lay on her couch with a hot water bottle and a cup of tea on the table. I was saying,
"Gertrude, I've been having this condition since January or February. It's starting to wear me down. I will change my life if maybe I can trust that I have a Father that is God. I have rejected any particular thoughts about what God might look like. Instead I just want the honesty, the Truth, the guidance, the teaching. I would let go of my sense of my own ego protection, my innocence, to open up all my wrongs to my Father and let any kind of peace come to me. That way, even if my shoulder never feels fine again, I can have faith."
"You're no good at maintaining any kind of order, or even faith. You're a wanderer."
My heart sank.
"Well, what about you? What's your faith?"
"Well, I guess you could say I do have faith but I've found it unhelpful," she said, scratching her gray curls and taking a sip of her tea. "Instead I have faith that I just can't see all I'd like to. I just carry on the day."
I silently thought about my relationship with God, and with my own dad. My dad is my hero, except for the smoking and the alcohol. He's been there at times that made a big difference for me. The same with my mom. I will never forget being held on her lap and loving her. Now I don't want to be nurtured by my parents. But...
I am in pain. I want my Mama. I guess I want to learn what I need to learn from my Father. But I want Mother, so badly!
"Where is Mother God?" I asked out loud, rhetorically. But Gertrude said,
"Mothers are like extensions of us when we're infants. They sacrifice. They feed. They clean up. They don't dress like teenagers anymore. If you ask me, Mother God is here and we pay no attention, and she works anyway. She gives us consideration and comfort. Warmth. Cleanliness. Release. But you don't ever look at her."