Cartoon sick dog with ice bag, isolated on white background

This week’s Monday Musings are coming to you on Tuesday as I just got back late last night from a cross-country trip with my son David, driving home together from his college in Iowa. We had a great time of sharing over the two days of packing up his dorm room and three days of driving. We shared updates in our lives. We shared driving duties. We shared memories on a brief stop in Boise, Idaho, where we lived for a year when I did my internship at Immanuel Lutheran Church, when David was a preschooler.

Unfortunately, we also shared some germs. To be specific, David shared his Finals Week cold germs with me. And given that we put in several hard days of packing and traveling, didn’t exactly eat the most healthy meals (think McDonald’s and truck stops) and didn’t sleep well in hotels along the way, I seem to have been pretty susceptible to the nasty bugs now firmly settled in my head, especially my sinuses.

So I’m sneezing and sniffling and dragging along as I re-enter my routine at work and home. Not gonna lie. I’m feeling pretty awful. Plus, I’m a lousy patient. Very whiny. Very needy.

Being sick just this little bit – and in the grand scheme, although it seems like a near-death experience right now, this is just a head cold – I’m a little more aware of others who are battling far worse. I’m cognizant of several congregation members with much more serious, and in several cases, chronic medical challenges. One of our members is in rehab after a fall. Another couple are preparing to move out of town to be closer to relatives who can help care for them as they age. Two more are in the midst of a series of surgeries for knees and hips and backs. To mention just a few.

Ironically, as I’m a little more sensitive to the medical needs of others due to my own “suffering,” I’m in no shape to visit them. But my prayers are perhaps a bit more compassionate. Maybe some will even read this blog and know I’m thinking of them.

Being sick is no fun. Being sick alone is much worse. I’m glad to know I’m a part of a community that cares for me and cares for one another. Thanks for your concern. But for now we should pass on the sympathetic hugs. In this case, sharing would not be the Christ-like thing to do.