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Second look: On being lost in Walmart

Posted Jun 07 2010 10:55am

Nine years ago Linda had brain surgery.  Her epileptic seizures were out of control.  A  good day was 10-15 seizures.  There were a lot of bad days.  The 18 months after the surgery were like a “perfect storm”.    I dont think either one of us could really put into words what we coped with.  To say it was agony is to give only a small hint of what it was like.  Linda  basically found that as a result of the surgery she had a host of disabilities that she had not had prior to the surgery.

We went to Walmart one night.  It was rainy and cold and I let her out at the door while I went to park.  She said she was going to buy some shoes.  I parked and came in and went to the shoe department.  She wasnt there.  For the next hour I searched the store aisle by aisle.  I was frantic.  One of the “gifts” of the surgery was Linda had lost her sense of direction.  She literally could get lost going from room to room.  I was so angry at myself for letting her come in.  I was at the point of going to the manager and asking him to call the police when I went back into their lay-away section at the back of the store.  It was closed and the lights were dark.  Linda was sitting on a bench silently crying.  She saw me and I hugged her.  I will never forget what she said.  “I figured if I would just sit still you would find me…”

I am often in the dark.  I often dont know where to go or what to do.  The terrain often seems unfamiliar and scary.  Sometimes in trying to make it better I just make it worse.  Faith has helped to provide the direction in my life.  I am not good at it and stumble frequently.  But I learn more each day about trusting God (It is so strange but sometimes I feel  like I need to make an obligatory apology for saying that.  Isnt a strange place we live when people feel like apologizing for saying God lives?)  Somehow “love God and others as yourself…” seems to cover so much territory for me.  In my own way I know what Linda felt that night.  I am frequently “lost in Walmart…”  I thank God for the blessing he has given.  I thank God for the many kind people he has put in my life.  Bad things are real.  But they are not the only things that are real and sometimes that is the hardest thing to hang onto.  I am grateful for each day.

I dont know if you get lost as much as me.  If you do I hope you have a way in the darkness.  Someone once told me that God was a God of miracles because he gave us each other to help in bad times.  I pray that someone will be His hands and feet for you today.  And if it is me I hope I can help as much as I have been helped.

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