Thanks everyone for the prayers for my knee surgery this morning. Figured I’d get a post up before I have to go on the pain meds (if I do) and am forced to put duct tape around the laptop to keep from writing something silly. At the moment, there is no pain at all…
Short summary: What a mighty work God is doing! Praise Him!! I’m grateful that He gave me 33 years of being able to run. Perhaps He’ll grant more, or perhaps not. I’m OK with either as long as it’s to His glory. Five years ago, I couldn’t have written that and really meant it. This bod is a loaner. May it be useful to Him in the meantime.
Had some delightful, impromptu fellowship with the Afro-Am intake administrator. Her fiance was hit by a semi yesterday pulling out of the parking lot at church, she said. He was badly banged up but alive. It’s a sobering reminder that none of us know how much time we have. If we delay considering Christ Jesus and His gospel until a later time, there’s no guarantee we will live to see that time. Give us this day our daily bread. Don’t worry about tomorrow. (See also James 4:13-17) Today, if you hear his voice…
She and I had a good, mutually encouraging, conversation (see 1st Thess 4:18 & 5:11, e.g.). We joked about the rote, racial classification questions she has to ask (“are you Japanese, Black…?” “Ummm… nooo… [smile] I don’t answer those kinds of questions. Put down whatever you like.”), and religious ‘preference’. (“Why?” “In case… something… Um, if you have to be in overnight, or…”)
I told her she could not only put down “follower of Jesus” on the form, but that she could broadcast it everywhere. I was as much preaching to myself as to her… the boldness in person does not come naturally. We should all be as bold when it isn’t as easy as that conversation was.
In the waiting room, with my wife, I was doing my daily Bible reading, hoping I’d finish before they called me in. The last two chapters on my rotation today were James 1 (one of my favorites! — “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…”) and Job 19 (also an amazing chapter, e.g., v25-27 — “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”).
Just as I finished reading the last line (“be afraid of the sword, for wrath brings the punishment of the sword, that you may know there is a judgment.”), the nurse called me in. It could not have been more precise. Eyes: ‘judgment’. Voice: “Mr… we’re ready for you.” The sense was not one of fear, as one might infer from the text, but of the presence of God in every last tiny detail of of my life, of the surgery, of all our lives, of everything. It was as if it had been choreographed down to the second… which, of course, it was… from the very beginning.
Before this procedure, the last few days, I had gotten indications, in the Spirit, that it might be more involved than I was thinking… e.g., perhaps that I might suffer complications or die. The latter, the Spirit suggested last night, was a self-centered and melodramatic impulse, but still, I had a strong sense that this would be someting more than simple or routine — i.e., that the normal recovery from an arthroscopic ‘trimming’ of knee meniscus, walking within a few days would not be the course I would follow. Sure enough. Once the surgeon saw what a mess I’d made of my knees over the years, he had to drill several holes in the end of my femur (!!) to stimulate regrowth of cartilage. (Sorry. The pictures are really cool… but really gross.)
As such, I will be in a brace and on crutches for at least six weeks AND tied to a “passive motion” machine for 6-8 hours a day, 7 days a week during that time. (Can you say ‘Rear Window’ but with a Bible?) Driving seems like it may be difficult, perhaps impossible.
Yet I am joyful! JOYFUL!! (And AFAIK, they didn’t give me any ‘happy’ drugs.) My wife and daughters seem to be enjoying doting on me, and my new status as couch potato is already forcing me out of my habitual mode of trying to do everything and be in control. (Asking for help doesn’t come naturally.) When I am weak, Christ is strong.
Again, thanks for the prayers, y’all.