At times, life halts for people. Almost as if it stops, but that would mean death and I don't mean it like that...maybe just a short (or sometimes long) hiatus...especially of the day to day normalcies. I learned this best when Little Man was in the hospital - first when he was born and felt the need to stay a week to strengthen those weak white-boy lungs and get rid of the pneumonia. Then life halted 2 months later when we did it all over again with RSV. The hospital was one of the loneliest places I've been in a long time. Especially because I couldn't leave - not even to get a Coke down the hall. I guess I could have, but taking the time to get a nurse to babysit while I left (and then feeling comfortable about it) seemed too much trouble. So I sat. I listened to ceaseless beeping of monitors. I looked at words on pages and tried to read books. I crawled up in Little Man's man-sized crib. I prayed. I brushed my teeth about 12 times a day because somehow that hospital air (or scrumptious hospital food) made my teeth feel like they had sweaters on. I stared at the door and tried to will visitors in. It wasn't necessarily that this was an overly traumatic circumstance (scary, yes. worrisome, yes. traumatic, nah...not in the grand scheme of things). It's just that life halted. But only for me (and my Little Man). Everything and everyone else continued along, just as they had the day before. It was such a weird feeling to know the world was going along just as before, while Little Man and I were holed up in a hospital room in the pursuit of clean lungs. Going nowhere.
These times were a great learning experience for me. I'm thankful that I can relate to others who are holed up in hospital rooms with their sick babies. I know how to pray for them. I understand how meaningful a visit can be. And I will never throw out the proverbial "Yeah we'll be praying for you" without actually doing it (yes I'm guilty of throwing that lingo around and not doing a darn thing about it...stinks...but true).
I use this as just one example of a life-halting situation. And I guess it's so fresh for me because I have some close friends who are halted right now. Death of a loved one, hospital stays, and even a positive life-halting situation (congrats on your engagement, Alicia!). All of which make you stop, look around, and wonder how everyone's life around you can be going along as always while yours is taking a break. Especially when noticing the petty stuff that people complain of day-to-day (traffic, attitudes, busyness, children, etc etc etc), when you're able to look at what really matters. When life halts, you can't help but re-prioritize EVERYTHING. And ultimately, you're changed by whatever situation that is, whether it was a negative or positive one.
I guess this is just a glimpse of those I've been praying for a lot lately: my friends who are halted. Their halts remind me to look at life differently than I did yesterday.