It’s funny how my original plan was to write another post about Father’s Day, and what it means to me. Maybe another day… Yesterday, Judy at Peace Be With You asked a question in her daily haiku, and it got me going. “What good does it serve?” she asked, referring to MS. I think it gave me additional issues to ponder about this blasted disease. I try not to enter into too many theological themes on this post because: 1) I’m not a theologian, and 2) it causes fights, and I try to keep peace. However, I often think of my MS in terms of religion. Though I never questioned “Why me?”, I may have asked just simply “Why?” The prior is futile; if not me, then someone else, even someone whom I love, and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! But the “Why” still hangs there.
Could it be in reparation for past sins? I’m no angel, but I also know I’m not the biggest sinner on earth. But maybe I’m being made to pay for any transgressions I’ve committed. The God in whom I believe is both merciful and just, and it’s the justice part where I see the payback entering the picture. I also think about the fact that maybe my suffering here on earth could be stockpiling to get me right into heaven when I die. No layovers in purgatory, no make-up tests; just a swift flight to the pearly gates. Or maybe what I’m going through is helping someone close to me get into paradise a little easier. For non-believers, this makes no sense, but as a true believer, I can see these things happening.
Then I get to the ‘what good does it serve?’ situation. If it’s purely spiritual, all right, I’ll try to understand. But I keep wondering why I was given my innate talents, only to have them snatched away. What I used to accomplish, did little for me, but it did make others happy. When I drew, painted, did pastels, calligraphy, sculpted, and did ink drawings, I rarely kept any. They were given as gifts to others. I have very little of my work here: a winter scene I did for my husband, a still life that I never reframed and one that I wanted to correct a portion, some sketch pads packed away, and some canvasses that were barely started. Everything else I did was given away. My needlework – counted cross stitch, needlepoint, knitting – also went to others. Those pieces numbered in the hundreds. I have very few pieces here to show for it. I do have quite a number of pottery pieces, but I also gave countless others as gifts. I can no longer repair clothing – buttons, seams, zippers – so I’m not being a help in that area. I can’t clean, polish, cook, or decorate the way I used to, so our living space suffers. And the biggie – I can’t work so we can’t afford to pay what we should. Bills come close to being overdue and phone calls from collectors begin. So with all this, really ‘what good does it serve?’
If I were cured or never got MS in the first place, couldn’t I make a better contribution to the world? Think of how many lives I could touch besides my own! I would still be working for a few more years which would kill two birds: I’d be helping children and I’d be bringing in some much-needed cash. I could still do art and needlework, providing gifts, happiness, and a feeling of self-worth. My house would be neat and attractive, and possibly quite marketable. So in that (somewhat selfish) sense, I’d be doing good and serving. Yet, if I have to look at it a purely spiritual sense, maybe that’s the good I’m doing.
I don’t have answers, only more questions. Trying to dwell on it gets depressing sometimes, so I have to pack those thoughts and questions away and concentrate on what I can still do. It’s not much, but it must suffice.