It all started when I was awoken in the middle of the night. Not sure what woke me, but I looked up to find a spider dangling right above my head!
Needless to say, I rolled right out of bed and switched on the light. To my dismay, the spider had vanished. Thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me, I hopped right back into bed and went to sleep.
The next day, I went about my usual business of busyness cleaning the house, taking care of the children, and checking e-mail. When I finally sat down for the day and that's when I noticed a bruise in the middle of my knee cap. At least that's what I thought it was.
The next day, the bruise had grown and had a white puffy center. I was beginning to wonder if it wasn't a bruise.
When I showed Billy, he had an appalled look on his face. "How did you manage to get that?"
"I don't know. I don't remember hitting it on anything."
"It looks bad. You need to go to the doctor right away."
Billy seemed to think it looked pretty strange, so I went to a walk-in clinic.
"Looks like a spider bite," said Dr. D.
My eyes grew wide. The dangling spider...I wasn't seeing things...It bit me!
Then, I shuddered. And, it was still somewhere in my room.
"Draw an outline around it with a marker, take these antibiotics, and try to rest. It could be a brown recluse or even a black widow. Both are highly poisonous. Go straight to the ER if it spreads."
That kind of freaked me out. I drove home in sort of a daze.
As soon as I got home, Billy helped check the bed, but we couldn't find the spider. I tried to put my feet up and take it easy. But, boy was that hard!
There's so many things that needed to be done around the house, but everyone else has a different definition of clean and in general, the children just add to the mess rather than helping to clean it up.
The next morning, the redness had spread across the line of demarcation and a patch of dark purplish blood vessels appeared around the white puffy center. It didn't look good.
So, I was off to the ER.
A nurse practitioner (not even a doctor) gave me an even higher dose of antibiotics and a big fat bill. Lovely. More antibiotics. My intestines were going to hate me for it.
After giving Bright Girl a crash course in housekeeping, I was finally able to prop my leg up and relax.
And, this time, I did. I was able to catch up on some really good reading: The Giver by Lois Lowry and Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis.
I could just be still and allow the Lord to "search me and know my heart" (Psalm 139:24). It was a good time of refreshment for me.
Funny, it takes a spider bite to get me on my duff.
The bite was still looking bad, so Billy decided to do a little research on spider bites:
According to Google and Wikipedia, there is no real good remedy for the bite of a brown recluse. They are usually not aggressive little spiders, the size of a penny, but if you sit on one, or lay down on one, it will bite. And, they are very poisonous. Sometimes the poison can even cause necrosis, or death of the affected tissues, and if it gets infected, gangrene, which means amputation.
Eek! I needed the antibiotic to work or some other treatment. I had been praying the whole time about the bite, but now I was begging, supplicating for healing or wisdom in treating the wound.
Then, it dawned on me, it's the poison that is causing the problem. What if there was some way to neutralize the poison or draw it out. I checked some natural websites and double checked with WebMD and sure enough, there was one home remedy that works that I've already been using for ant and mosquito bites: good old baking soda mixed with a little water.
The baking soda absorbs moisture and so it draws out the poison.
And, it worked! I'm still taking the first doctor's treatment of antibiotics, just in case. And, that little time of respite has been good for my soul.
Something stood out to me that C.S. Lewis wrote why he preferred walking to places rather than quickening his pace with modern inventions such as the automobile in his autobiography Surprised by Joy,
"I possessed 'infinite riches' in what would have been to motorists 'a little room.' The truest and most horrible claim made for modern transport is that it 'annihilates space.' It does.
It annihilates one of the most glorious gifts we have been given...Why not creep into his coffin at once? There's little enough space there."
In this fast-paced, tech-addicted, information age, I think we've lost the art of just being. It's considered wasteful and frivolous to take a break from work, turn off the phone, the computer, the mp3 player (or some three-in-one gadget) and go for a walk and enjoy nature or just rest.
In cases of the under-responsible that may be true, but I have plenty of responsibility and probably more than I can handle.
Sometimes I need to just rest.
So, when I find myself in a cleaning flurry, it's okay to slow down and sit down.
To take a break every now and then to get my bearings.
And, when I rise, I will be present and strengthened and able to enjoy the life that the Lord has blessed me with--instead of just rushing through it!
"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders." (Deuteronomy 33:12)