Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Worst Day Ever

Yesterday was the worst day I have had in quite sometime. Philip woke up early, just before 7, and cried a little. I laid in bed thinking shhhhh, go back to sleep, and he did. I got up about 7:20, and did my normal morning mommy chores, awaiting my children's rise at 8AM. Usually, you can set your watch by Philip. He rises promptly at 8. Helen, on the other hand, would sleep later, but for her brother's incessant noise making when he gets up. And so I waited, sitting on my bed, reading. Very peaceful.

But peaceful soon turned to too quiet. It was 8:15, no sound from the kids. 8:20, 8:30...At 8:35 Helen stirred. I was glad! I went in and found her sitting on her bed looking curiously at Philip's crib. I slowly walked over to find Philip awake, yet completely unresponsive, just lying on his back. I reached out for him, but he just looked at me. Now, understand that generally, when I walk into that room at 8:03, Philip is standing at the end of his crib, jumping. I usually stand in front of him and jump, too. Then he reaches out and says, "Down, Mama!" Thus begins our morning, or has for the past two months. Until yesterday. Yesterday, he just laid there. I left him, hoping he was just sleepy, while I went to the closet and retrieved our "today clothes", dressed Helen and sent her to use the bathroom. Then I went over to pick up my son.

It was like picking up a ragdoll. His limbs were flacid. He was semi-catatonic, eyes glazed and only at about half mast. When I laid him down to change his diaper, he fell asleep. I dressed his limp little body and carried him in to my bed. I tried to hold him, but I had to lay him down. It was too weird. Like holding a body, not a child. And while I realize how that sounds, one cannot possibly understand the quiet whirlwind of emotions I was enduring. You see, I KNEW he was in the postictal period, the period following a seizure when the body sort of shuts down. But it has been nine months...NINE MONTHS since he has had a seizure. I was in a sort of state of shock, but more than that, I was in a state of oppressive guilt. He had cried just before 7!! That is when it had happened. And all I wished was that he would go back to sleep. Well, I got my wish. I didn't go to him. His little body had been through something awful, and I didn't go to him. What if he was scared, or what if it hurt? And I just wanted an extra fifteen minutes of sleep. Awful, awful guilt. I called his pediatrician, I called Luke, I called my mom. Luke came home, and we took him to the ER.

He is fine now. His bloodwork came back normal, but for low CO2 levels, consistent with a seizure. They ran a battery of tests and sent them to his neurologist in Salt Lake. Oddly enough, we already have an appointment in Salt Lake on Monday. I guess the timing couldn't have been better. But overall, I cannot explain what this is like. No one can tell me why this happens. No one can say why yesterday, after nine months of nothing, he had the biggest one yet. No one can tell me why his medication suddenly seemed to stop working. They can run every C-Scan, MRI, EEG and other test in the book, and they cannot tell me why my NORMAL, functional, well-developed, even SMART little boy sometimes gives in to this...this sickness. And no one can tell me how to help. Did you know if a child has a seizure, you are to clear the area around them, roll them on their side and then just leave them alone to let it run its course!! Just stand aside and watch it happen. It is awful. But, he is better. He is fine. This morning we stood face to face and jumped when I went in to get him at 8AM on he money. It was a good feeling.

Oh, and last night after we got home from the hospital, I naturally did not feel like cooking, so I went out to grab some dinner...and got a ticket. It was a nice ending to a really nice day.

Friday, January 19, 2007


So, last semester I took a class called Jesus of Nazareth, A Study of the Historical Jesus. And it was fantastic. After a while, as a person who has a fiath in the the Christ, you really begin to lose sight of Jesus as a man. And according to MY faith, anyway, you have to be able to embrace both the Christ and the Man in Jesus i order to really understand him. However, it also brought to light a great number of things that would cause even the most devout of people to give pause. And I try to consider myself a lot more moderate than devout. I am willing to make concessions about what I believe, because I know that what I believe will never be definitive. I understand that I will NEVER understand all there is to know about Jesus. So, I think some gray area is a necessary thing for me to continue to grow. However, this study of Jesus left me with a lot of gray area and a lot less black and white than I had when I started. And honestly, this was a little blurrier than I was comfortable with.

Authors like Robert Funk and The Jesus Seminar, Marcus Borg, Robert Crossan.... These stupid men!! They sure did leave a big gaping hole where a lot of certainty used to be. They also, made me take a far closer look at the Gospels. I began to notice the real differences between John and the Synoptics. I borrowed books from my pastor and another "scholar" from my church and began reading ALL the Gospels. The Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Thomas, Sayings Gospel Q, etc. These books that may have been the literary basis for our cannonized Gospels, even if they didn't make the cut themselves. I really started looking into the Council of Nicea, the divinity of Christ, the stories about him that did and did not make the cut. It was not a very pleasent time for me. While it was all very interesting, it was also making me very uncomfortable with the things I had always assumed to be true. There were the miracles, the resurrections, the actual WORDS of Christ...all that red letter business. The Book of John in particular. And then this wonderful thing happened beyond that.

We began an in-depth study of the book of Mark at church. There were only like eight of us. My pastor, Luke and I, another couple, and two or three other women. My mentor at church is the wife of the other couple in this group. She was raised Southern Baptist. My pastor went to Southwester Baptist Theological Seminary the same years as my Dad. Then he went to the UU church and then came back to the UCC. I thought that sounded a little like my own journey. These people knew what I was going through!! And they sid it was okay to have these burning questions clouding my perception of Jesus. As it turns out, my pastor is a Borg scholar. My mentor's husband has studied the Jesus Seminar in depth and even subscribes to their quarterly! All these questions, and I finally had people who could start shedding some light on their answers. I have a box of books next to the computer all about the study of Jesus. I was not run out of the church for my mischevious thoughts on Christ, I was embraced for them!

And then, it happened. The most definitive moment of my spiritual life thus far. Someone said something so profound, yet so simple, that I reeled from it for weeks. In the midst of a conversation about Jesus, the man, the Christ, the spirit...someone said, "It doesn't have to be true to be truth." It was wonderful. We get so very cought up on proving the authenticity of everything the bible says Jesus said or did, that we forget all the truth BEHIND those things. So what if some of the stories came out of metaphor, exageration or speculation. That in no way disproves who Jesus is, the message He was sending or the work we are to do because we believe. Fantastic.

For instance, in our own study, Luke and I were looking at the Feeding of the Five Thousand. This story is told a couple of different ways, and there is even an account of the Feeding of the Four Thousand, which may be a retelling, or a seperate event. Now, here is how I look at it. Did Jesus multiply the bread and fish to make enough for everyone plus some? Maybe. Sure. I believe he COULD have. OR...OR... Could it have been that when one small boy came forward with his meager lunch, other people in the crowd happened to have food they were hoarding back. And MAYBE they were looking for a free lunch, but when that little boy stood up, their hearts opened up. Maybe the miracle was NOT that Jesus multiplied the bread, but maybe the miracle is what He did to those people's hearts. Maybe Jesus, being the Christ, created in that "congregation" the same sense of generosity that sometimes still sweeps us today. Maybe there were baskets left over because people just brought that much food, and through the Spirit, they were compelled to give it. The miracle doesn't HAVE to be a supernatural PHYSICAL event. In all liklihood, it could have been a completely natural earthly occurance coming from a supernatural change in people's hearts. Not the "true" story as you read it in the Gospels, but very full of truth, no?

So, this is where I have come in looking at Historical Jesus versus the Christ... Who cares? The message is the same. MY work is the same. My beliefs are intrinsically the same, just my perception that is different. Maybe if we all stopped harping on the little points, and just looked toward the broader message, all this "Is the bible infallible?" poo could go by the wayside. Who cares if it is true? What we are searching for is truth, and there is plenty of that to go around.