One of our vocabulary words in home school for this past week.
Would it be correct to say that my friend has an indomitable spirit?
Right now she is in surgery. And surgery under the best of circumstances can make for anxiety.
But Angie has never lived under the best of circumstances. When she was young, she was diagnosed with a progressive neuromuscular disease. Now, at 42, she is frail and spends much of her time drawing one breath after another via a breathing machine. She's been in a motorized wheel chair for so long that I don't even know if she remembers what it feels like to walk.
But she knows what it feels like to laugh and she does that almost every day.
She knows what it feels like to care and she reaches out to others every day, not only through her blog but through countless acts of compassion. Seriously. When I started collecting peanut butter for a food bank, Angie was the first to respond and she's been faithful to follow through for a year now. She takes beautifully decorated cookies to her doctors and uses her blog to share what God is teaching her - and that covers a lot of ground as she is a willing student in God's school of Grace.
She invites her friends and their children over to her home and loves watching the kids, yet she's never had any of her own. And I've never detected one iota of sour grapes over the things she doesn't have or never has had or has had to relinquish slowly over time although she would be the first to say that when she was younger, she went through some dark days.
Yet I've only known her as a bearer of light. His light.
Last year in the pre-holiday madness, about 5 days before Christmas, I went out to see Angie face-to-face for the first time. I was down, distracted - definitely feeling rushed and a bit overwhelmed. I intended to spend one hour with her and her caregiver, Karla. I spent two and when I got in the car I felt totally upbeat. I put some music in my CD player and reveled in the world around me. I felt joy and decided to toss my must-do-Christmas-shopping- list out the window for the rest of the day. It proved to be a wonderful decision, to set aside the world's idea of Christmas and focus on God's. What a novel idea...
That's the effect Angie has on me.
Jesus told His followers that He came to reproduce His joy in them and to make their joy full. (John 15)
Even in a wheel chair, I've seen that He can do that.
Sometimes the joy comes in hilarious ways, with pithy comments about girl things, our spoiled pets, and/or the world at large.
But always it comes.
So I ask again, would it be correct to say that my friend has an indomitable spirit?
I think it is.
How her frail body can contain such a spirit, I don't know. I only know that this morning she is undergoing surgery and for her, this is a huge thing to deal with.
And so I'm asking: please pray for my friend, Angie.