Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Choose Life

This month, we remember and honor the Sanctity of Human Life in a special way. My mom sent me a writing challenge, to write a poem about choosing life. I thought about writing about babies or moms or terminally ill people, but last night I decided to just write about me, and my daily choice to live. I hope it is an encouragement to you - whether you struggle with the value of your own life, or you wonder if there are other lives that are too small or weak or insignificant to value.

"Here we go again, God,"
I breathe as my alarm starts to ring.
"I don't know if I can do this thing called Life today..."
I lie still,
blinking awake because I can do
nothing else.
I wait in the semi-light of dawn
and wonder what this day will bring.
"You can choose, you know,"
my Father whispers to me.
"I always let you choose to live today or not.
Consider your choices,
and choose what is best."

The sharp pain in my hip
and the tingling in my foot
Forecast a day of stiffness
and swelling.
I take a deep breath
Wheezing and rattling
And know my tasks for the morning will be
Coughing and breathing.
I want to stretch my arms and my back,
But this blanket and gravity
hold me fast.
Glaring across the room,
I weigh whether it would be better to
Lay in this bed or
sit in that wheelchair.

My attendant - my friend -
opens the door and lets herself in
And sits in my chair,
quietly waiting.
She's giving me a choice, I realize.
She loves me and knows me,
And is letting me choose
to start my day.

I think a little more about my aches and pains,
And then I think about my patient friend,
Whose joy and kindness warm my heart.
I think about how beautiful musical poetry
Awaits in my CD player.
I think about Hannah and Kelsey and Pam
And how these friends will make me laugh today.
I think about my international students
Who will come to my home and call me "Tee-cha!"
I think about my African and Burmese teenagers
Who will make me crazy in the best possible ways.
I think about all the mysterious and thrilling adventures
Holding their breath, just waiting for me
to sit up and start the day...
And who cares about pinched nerves when
I have a Burmese baby brother named Sammy
Who gives me sloppy wet kisses?

Life isn't measured in pain, but in joy -
And the joy of the Lord is my strength.
Life isn't dependent on weakness, but on power -
And his power is made perfect in my weakness.
Life isn't defined by problems, but by purpose -
And He works in me day by day to fulfill his good purpose.
It isn't about what I can't do, but about what God can do -
And He can do all things.

It is a choice -
to give up or to have faith,
to despair or to hope.

And today, I choose life.


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