“Are you so dull?” he asked. (Mark 7:18)
We ended the week with Melanie helping me to break my 7-month vegetarian diet. She fixed some corned beef hash and scrambled eggs for supper and put a small serving in front of me. It was delicious! But I also coughed and choked a bit for no reason I can confidently identify. Maybe I was so eager I went too fast. And nothing after a stroke works fast.
Anyway, Melanie was concerned and took it away. Her first conclusion was that the scrambled eggs were “too light” and were harder for me to swallow. I had a tense moment of disagreement which I regretted immediately. I apologized and asked her forgiveness but I remained bothered all night by my outburst. What should have been another happy milestone had been tarnished by me. I hated that.
Melanie reheated the small dish for breakfast and placed it in front of me again. This time there was no coughing or choking and I got another five or six small taste-bites.
When I woke up I was thinking about what it all must have looked like to Melanie. I suspect the fear of losing me altogether remains close to her thoughts all the time. Nothing is worth that risk to her so she is ready to stop anything that appears dangerous or threatening to me (and thus to her). That kind of careful attention is priceless and I don’t want to lose it, even if I think she is over-reacting. Why assume she is wrong and I am right every time? I’m not really that smart, regardless of my knowledge or experience.
I reflect that such tensions were also known to Jesus and his disciples. “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked once in exasperation. “Are you going to leave me, too?”
No, Lord. As dull as I am, that’s not what I want. I do want to hear you better, follow you better and treat the servants you have sent to walk with me better.
And first on that list is my wife of 41 years.