We were probably about eleven and eight. It was probably during the summer time when violent thunderstorms in Boulder, CO would suddenly appear out of no where. My younger sister, Claire, and I had this wonderful idea of setting up the two-man tent in our back yard like a make shift play house. We filled the tent with our stuffed animals, pillows and Oreos. I remember needing to unzip the front flap on a regular basis because it would get too stuffy inside the tent.
The next thing I remember was hearing thunder so loud the ground shook. This was followed by winds so strong the rain came down sideways. The poles of the tent began to bend. We screamed out of fear at the top of our lungs as the thunder continued and then cried big tears matching the big raindrops outside. We held on to each other as we prepared to DIE….
in the tent….
And then we heard the familiar voice of our sweet Grandma, who stood barely four-foot nine. She was outside of the tent, her white hair blowing and the umbrella she held kept flipping inside out from the wind. We managed to untangle our arms to unzip the front flap and she said to us in Chinese, “It’s really stormy out here. You should go inside.”
So, we scrambled out of the tent and made our way 15 feet across the grass following our Grandma like little ducklings to our back door. Inside our warm, safe house we looked out across the lawn to our the flattened blue tent with our soggy animals and Oreos outside.
For the past month or more I’ve been waking up unable to bend my fingers into a fist without a lot of effort and pain. The doctors have told me that this is due to my body not producing estrogen. The chemo sent me early and abruptly into menopause and instead of my body having several years to slowly get used to not having this lovely hormone I’m having a crash course adjustment complete with extreme hot flashes. I feel pretty achy getting out of my car (which I spend HOURS in every day) or especially getting off the floor if I’m playing a board game with the kids. Most of the people I interact with at the different waiting rooms I frequent are older than me. Often much, much older. So my thoughts have lately been on how temporal this life is on earth and the “tents” we live in. Our bodies age, and ache and break down. But the truest part of me is not my physical body…
my body is only a temporal tent…
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not build by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,” (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18-5:2)
While I think it is important to take care of the physical bodies we have been entrusted with, I’m realizing these new aches and pains are a part of the aging process and really this world is not my home. God knows the exact day I will be rid of this earthly tent when I will walk those 15 feet across the lawn into my true home in heaven. No more storms, no more pain….safe and warm.
*another recycled post from CaringBridge….still recovering from a full couple of weeks with the end of the school year, family in town, and Jonathan’s graduation. I pray you find encouragement as you contrast this temporal world with things eternal.