Why would I want to wrap my husband in bubble wrap in the first place? The same reason a mother wants to wrap up her baby, a brother wants to keep his sister safe, a friend wants to protect a friend.... My husband happens to be dealing with two kinds of cancer, a nasty case of Host vs. Graph disease, a blood clot, and other mysterious symptoms that make my heart race.
But I can't wrap him up and keep him safe from the troubles that plague him for one simple reason: he has his own destiny to fulfill. I have noticed, after visiting innumerable doctors, hospitals and the like, how often fellow sufferers of various ailments look like they are caught in a mindless maelstrom which they can neither control nor get the better of. (I know the feeling...well.) And I have seen the look on people's faces and in their eyes when they search my soul, asking... “How can you stand it?”
I do not stand it by choice...but I do accept it by choice and that was a hard decision to make. For a time I figured that God was taking us through our paces...hey, we all have to reprioritize and learn to pair-down from silly obsessions to sublime reality. And I was happy to do that. But as the pain got worse, as the trials became more severe, and as time wore on, it seemed that God was asking a bit more than I could give. I could accept suffering....for a while...as long as I could rationalize it. But when suffering just seemed like suffering and little else I wondered what God was doing. I wanted to fix things that were clearly becoming unfixable. So what do we do in our society when the novelty of a challenge wears off? We try to get rid of the problem...or at very least put it on a shelf where we keep our eye on it but not allow it to interfere with our daily lives too much. Hence the desire to wrap my husband in bubble wrap...preserve what good I could and forget, for a while, the clouds on the horizon.
But John has this intensely irritating habit of breaking free from any bonds or constraints. Frankly, Houdini would be impressed, though I must say the 7th floor nurses at Siteman Cancer Center were a tad bit peeved at times. Then, to add irritant to irritant....I hear all these wonderful stories about my husband...how he helped people....how his example has recharged spiritual lethargy...how his merely walking into a room with a smile on his face put universal realities into proper perspective for some people. And then I get rather ticked off. Hey, what's going on here? Who is this guy? When did he become a saint? But I had to admit...he was a different man from the one I married...."for better or for worse".
Then, after struggle and prayer I got a glimmer of understanding. God doesn't need a "perfected saint" to work miracles... all He needs is a will...a will willing to correspond to Him and despite all the swirling mysteries of suffering and pain, John has been very open to God's will in this journey. In his FIAT, his unconditional “yes” to God, no matter the hour, no matter the setting, no matter the issue, the trial or tribulation, when he says “Yes”....then God's will can be done. Our perfect God works through our imperfect humanity to achieve perfect salvation. As someone once said… “God may have created us without our permission but he will not save us without our permission.”
So, you see, I can't wrap my husband up in bubble wrap...no matter how much I love him or how much easier that would make things for me. He has his own mission to accomplish...and God's will to love.