I noticed. Parked in a lot I used a decade before, I stared near an office where I served years prior to my illness. I watched a rabbit as she leaned her head in search of breakfast. I noticed her head jerk down, then upward quickly. She allowed her ears to stand tall, announcing control and order. She inspected the ground near a lake. Her face darted down again. She came up chewing.
That pear-shaped, silver body looked both calm and nervous, both in control and much afraid, both where she belonged and a stranger on foreign soil. I related. My shape didn’t match her design, but my feelings fit how I assumed she felt.
I depend on a head that searches and searches. For names, words. For instructions given only moments before. For ideas formed. For numbers known. For events experienced and aromas smelled. My mind searches and searches. Sometimes it finds.
It seeks to locate and recall. While staring at a sunrise shining in mystery, I launch reflecting dares to my wrinkled instrument of research. I often feel parked, unable to go forward. I feel like one watching, rather than one living or being. I stare, I glance, I bow, I swallow. Calm and nervous, I live. In control and afraid, I smile. At home and a stranger, I write about lessons learned.
Unlike my new rabbit friend, I rarely search for breakfast. The organized, morning man that I am – others might call me obsessive, controlling, stuck – knows what time to wake, knows where to find cereal, knows which medicine to take. Unless, of course, anything has been moved. When that happens, I search. No longer in control, I am a timid stranger, needing to learn from a rabbit.
Unable to locate what I want and need, I am no longer comfortable. I’m slowly learning, though, that my Maker wants me there. There. In person and aware of reality. A rabbit facing risks, knowing I no longer know as much as I did. There, living in an inner village I never hoped to locate, living as a person without all the answers or all the cures or all the victories. But still, living there. As I continue recovering and adjusting, I must depend on what He can do for me. My story is not just about me. It is about Someone Else who saved me. Someone Else who is still saving me from myself. During this non-stop surgical procedure of ongoing changes, I often want to jerk my head like a rabbit avoiding danger. I prefer to hop quickly toward a hide or be very silent, still and concealed by my surroundings so that no one can notice my real self. Or just continue eating, pretending nothing else matters but the moment and the feeling.
I’ve always known better. I’ve always been taught never to live that way. But now, I know so much more.
Walking near my rabbit friend, I wanted to tell her what I wrote. Stopping to avoid her fearful escape, I confessed more of myself to the Rabbit Maker. Looking toward the office of my past, I worked to recall.
*From Chris Maxwell’s book about his illness. To read more, purchase the eBook version of his book Changing My Mind on Amazon HERE.