The Bishop’s E-pistle: Let Me Do It Gallantly

Two Sundays ago, I missed the bottom step in the stairs of my house and sustained a foot injury.  A trip to the orthopedic surgeon last Friday confirmed that I have a lisfranc injury, which will be corrected by surgery next Saturday, followed by 6-8 weeks of staying off it. 

Help me, Jesus. 

I can count my blessings. I have supportive family and friends, who have extended themselves lovingly to make sure Nate and I have what we need to get through the next few weeks, even setting up a bedroom on the ground floor of my house. I have excellent health insurance and access to competent care in a timely manner. I am not going to lose my job if I’m working from home. 

Nonetheless, I’m used to being the caregiver, not the one being cared for.  I am also—let’s be honest—better and more proficient at being the caregiver than at being the one cared for.  And I am overwhelmingly frustrated in my call as your bishop that there is yet another obstacle to the type of engagement and vision I want to be doing. 

And so I find myself torn between two responses. 

One is this cartoon: 

So many times over the last two years I have thought “Wow, this is a lot to handle.”  Nate’s stroke, my mother’s injuries from a bad fall, the pandemic…. But I have retained my positive attitude, my faith, and my ability to find joy and be present in the moment for whatever the moment brings. This injury just feels like being hit in the head with another lemon when I am tired of making lemonade. 

On the other hand, I’m also finding strength in this prayer: 

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)

This is a prayer I have prayed with other people many times over the years. I had never particularly felt like it applied to me.  But now: make these words more than words, indeed, and give me the Spirit of Jesus.