Lyme Disease, grief, fibromyalgia, depression, and plenty of other illnesses are invisible, you can't plainly see that a person is suffering because there is no visible proof. As people who suffer from invisible illness, we are pretty aware of how powerful and real something you cannot see can really be.
I'd like to tell you about something profoundly personal that happened to me. Probably the most personal thing I will ever share with one simple click. You don't need to believe it to have happened at all, let alone to be as significant as I believe it to be, but please be respectful to me after you read it.
Just shy of 12 months ago, my mother-in-law died of pancreatic cancer (you may have been wondering why I keep mentioning grief as an invisible thing that makes you suffer, this is why). She was wise, fun, artistic, and deeply spiritual. She left behind many pieces of art - poetry, children's stories, but mostly paintings. When we got all the stuff printed up for the funeral (the memorial cards, thank you cards, etc.) we had one of her paintings printed on the cover - an angel with the handwritten verse: 'See, I am sending an angel before you to guard you along the way. Ex 23:20' We thought that would be especially significant and nice, since she had painted an angels series and given one each to her 5 children.
As I've been healing and getting better, I've been trying to make up for the last 10 months of little attention paid to my spiritual well-being, what with pretty much all my energy put into my physical well-being. It probably has a lot to do with the 1 year anniversary of my mother-in-law's death just around the corner, but I've been doing a lot of reflecting on the spiritual nature of things, outside myself. You know, all that invisible, yet powerful stuff. But there was an event that started this new focus.
I was talking with an open-minded someone (who has a medical background) about my health and we were talking about my fever and my joints, it was kinda like a doctor's appointment. We were both thrilled and excited that I seem to be getting much better. When we were almost done talking, she said, 'and why are you pink?' I looked at my arm, it didn't look pink to me, I did feel a little flushed so I replied, 'I don't know, I'm kinda hot right now.' Then she said, 'no, I mean an aura, there's pink all around you.' (Now I know what you must be thinking - it's kinda weird when people say they see colors around people. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. Who knows why or why not, but remember I'm speaking with someone who has a medical background and is also open-minded, not a grass-skirt-wearing, patchouli-scented moon maiden). I didn't know if she really saw the pink or not, either way, it was fine with me if she wanted to think she saw it. Wanting to be respectful, but not quite knowing how to respond, I kinda looked at her, and as nonchalantly as I could, I said, 'I don't know.' She kinda shrugged and said, 'Oh well, must be angels. You do have lots of angels around you.' I thought to myself, 'pink angels, huh? Sure, I'll take 'em, I'll take all the help I can get!' I think I mostly forgot that happened, because I didn't think about it again for a while.
A few weeks later, I was standing in my husband's office and was admiring this stained glass piece that one of my sister's-in-law had custom made for us. It's a beautiful piece of the angel my mother-in-law had painted, the same one we worked with a lot in putting the funeral together; a nice likeness. I don't know how I never noticed before, but it's pink.
My pink angel(s).
'May you be aware of His angels near you to bring strength and hope and peace.'
~ Handwritten by my mother-in-law on the back of the original angel painting
(*Can I also just say how resilient and full of strength my husband is? Within a 2 month period, we watched his mother get sick and die, the dog he's had since he was 13 get sick and die, and me get sick. I don't know where I would be without him and his ever-caring, compassionate, healing self. I am so lucky, I can't even stand it.)