The last month has seen a barrage against my family. Nearly two weeks ago, my parents had an accident on their tandem bicycle, leaving my mom with several broken bones, and rendering her mostly immobile. The following week, Dad collapsed at work and was admitted to the hospital overnight for monitoring of an irregular heart rhythm. Last night, my brother wrecked my motorcycle and broke his leg.
Emotion brings words best left unsaid to my lips as I process these events from afar. Shock, sympathy, fear, and anger course through my veins and I sometimes desperately wish I could do something to help. But no amount of inner turmoil can bridge the thousands of miles that separate. No amount of worry can heal the broken bones. And no amount of anger will fix my once-beautiful bike.
I know that being angry is altogether the wrong response; that I should be praising God that I still have a brother at all, that he is alive and relatively unhurt. The broken leg will heal. The bike can be replaced or repaired eventually. But that is not what I feel. Yet, staring me in the face is a poster that I’ve kept at my school desk(s) for the last year, and on it, in large letters, the words: “Count Gifts.”
And so I realize that there are two ways of looking at this past month: Either my family has seen a barrage of pain and trial, or we have experienced a barrage of blessing.
I know that I have been blessed here by new friends who have shared meals with me, offered transportation, and given encouragement when clouds obscured my view of God’s gifts. My family has been overwhelmingly blessed by church members and friends who have joined them in hospital rooms, faithfully made meals each evening, and offered assistance in a plethora of areas. Some even offered to feed the horse and dog! My dear brother’s life has been spared…something that cannot be taken for granted where motorcycle accidents are concerned.
There are many more gifts to be counted.