Not Every Door Is An Exit —New Entry March 14, 2021
The morning of my departure was the first day I had even considered my feet. When I arrived at the hospital the nurse replaced my pair of socks with skid free socks which had remained untended to for the following twelve days. My feet had become HUGE and spread out like pancake flour with toes. I couldn’t help but laugh; although I’m sure the swelling and numbness of my feet was not a good thing I also felt that their condition was not as much of a concern compared with what was going on with my inner organs.
I was afraid I had become part human and part beast but I was also extremely curious that if I was being transformed did I look like Frodo or Bilbo? I waited until I could be assisted on my next trip to the bathroom and cast a quick glance to the mirror. “What a relief! Feet aside I was still me!”
That’s important to remember during the difficult times in our lives … we may not look like we remember ourselves, our financial and emotional conditions may have changed dramatically and we might even be largely unrecognizable to those who never knew us that well in the first place but we are still that beautiful, vulnerable child of God brought into this world covered by the blood of His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
As I left the hospital for home I realized I was leaving Holy Ground populated by angels unawares both as patients and staff.
Two songs came to mind as I prepared myself to go home. One was Willie Nelson’s song, “You Were Always On My Mind” and the other was “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. Both songs express a sadness that the singer had been negligent in nurturing the most important relationships in his life.
I didn’t know how many more moments I would have with my loved ones but I did know that those moments would be filled with appreciation love and upbuilding. My wife Sheila called this new support group of family and friends and church family as our ‘Jesus Team.’
God’s hand was upon her and she found an entirely new place to live without stairs, family members rented and donated a reclinable bed, medical grade couch, schedules were adjusted so I would never be unattended; kitties placed temporily in foster care. all of these major changes accomplished within days.
If I sought to be a witness of strangers let me be a greater witness to those who love me. If I sought to restore and maintain dignity among those whom I may never see again let me do so even more intensely to those whom You have given to me as supports, buoys and lights in this world.
When I got home I had that figured out plus one another item that myself and Jesus had agreed upon. Jesus had reminded me that laughter is an important part of the sanctified life. I agreed; I just didn’t know how He was going to bring that laughter to me.
Our Jesus team members were experts in terms of love but not experience. The first thing I wanted when I left the hospital was a sip of a McDonald’s chocolate shake. That must be a popular part of their menu because we had a difficulty finding it but we kept driving through Arleta, Pacoima and Santa Clarita until we found one.
Those stick figures and arrows that show you how to recline and upright your couch and bed? Please figure them out before you get on the bed or couch.
Oxygen tanks? We blew the handle off of one trying to figure it out. Specialized diets? Old habits are hard to break.
Medication? Was it the green pill or the blue pill that was three times a day and the other only as needed? And who decided if it was needed?
Jesus reminded me that it was He that mentioned the importance of humor. All of those could have been catastrophes but His Hand protected and guided us allowing us to laugh, love, heal and share high fives with one another and with Jesus Himself.
To be continued …