You know, once all the wheels have come off of the bus the ride isn’t nearly as scary anymore. Slows right down.
I had to break dress code a week ago. As my friend Jake & I were finishing our hike on Big Frog, I stepped off of the edge of the trail and rolled my ankle. I didn’t realize that I’d hurt it because everything else in my out-of-shape self was crying foul at the same time. But after a few days the pain subsided from everywhere except my ankle. I came home from a particularly difficult on-my-feet day to find my ankle hot and swollen like I was smuggling a baseball. Ruined. I couldn’t walk.
I wasn’t willing to do permanent damage to my ankle to live out the point, but I knew (as I retrieved an orthopedic space boot from my closet) that if I was truly homeless, I’d nearly be finished. If I were homeless, mobility would have stood as one of few remaining assets. Walking to a day labor job. On the hunt for food. All of that ability gone in an instant. Lay there ’til it feels better.
Last weekend I went on a youth camping trip and somewhere within it I realized the main advantage I possess that compromises the genuineness of this experience–I have so much community. Too much to ever know what it would really be like to live through this alone. I have felt more love, support, and respect from those around me in the past few weeks than I’d have thought possible.
Apart from that, I’m feeling pretty worn down. I’ve basically been in hiding this week. It’s spring break here, and that coupled with a day off following the camping trip have had me at home for the most part. I’ve slipped into a something less than caring attitude about being clean. I just can’t bring myself to face that sink again–and haven’t been able to since cleaning up after the camping trip Monday night. I’m sure that it’s due at least in part to the fact that tomorrow right after church I’ll get to take a real shower and put on different clothes for the first time since mid-February. But I think that another part of it is that I want to remember what this feels like. I don’t want to forget soon.
I’ve had a lot of questions (even just here at home) about when I’ll be breaking this fast. I know technically that I can break it at sunrise, but I’m going to wait until after church. Sunday mornings are hectic ordinarily, and this Sunday we’ve got an extra service. I’d be rushing through cleaning & shaving to go work for 5 hours. I also don’t want the first 5 hours after I get clean to be filled with conversations about what it’s like to be clean again. I think it’s going to be a more holy experience for me to get through what I must do tomorrow morning and then come home to less urgently undo what the past few weeks have done.
And then I’m just going to sit and be clean for a while.