Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Body of Christ has Two Arms

It’s been an interesting couple of days. On Thursday night I took a tumble playing basketball (seminarian basketball is not for the faint of heart), and could tell when I got up that something was not right. Eight hours in the University of Chicago Emergency Department confirmed this; I fractured a bone in my elbow. It’s not a bad fracture, but the location required splinting my entire arm from wrist to shoulder. For the next week I have almost no use of my left arm.

I’ve spent the last few days learning how to do things one-handed, and there’s a lot I can do with careful planning. But as much as I can still do, there is a seemingly endless list of things that are what I’ve deemed “two-arm activities.” Things like opening jars, washing dishes, spreading cream cheese on a bagel, and even doing my own hair. As someone who’s always been pretty independent, this has made for a rough couple of days. I hate having to constantly ask others to help me. I want to be able to do for myself what I’ve always done.

But I can’t. I can’t open jars, use a knife, etc. And I am so grateful for the community who has surrounded me these past few days. Friends who sense when I’m struggling and reach over to perform simple tasks without making me ask. Who also understand when I need to do the job myself even if it might take longer than if they just did it for me. And most importantly, who are willing to be present with me in my pain and in my frustration as I navigate these temporary limits on my world. I cannot imagine trying to manage these last few days alone. It is good to be part of the Body of Christ, who can offer another arm when my one is not enough.

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