Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Update...

First, I want to thank so many who have reached out to me, and my caretaker, Sandy. There has been no shortage of kindness and well-wishes. Your prayers have touched our hearts.

According to the physical therapist my new hip is doing quite well. I am diligently following the routines given me. A part of the therapy relies on my willingness and wisdom to know when to push myself and when to accept a limitation. I have been alternating between walking a mile one day and then a half-mile the next day. Along with that I have been doing stairs with the same varying intensity. So far-so good.

Next week, I return to the surgeon to have everything evaluated. I know I have a long way to go as yet. Lateral movement is limited, and when I tried to get into a vehicle on Sunday it was difficult. But all of that is to be expected.

Regarding my hands: It has been two weeks, today, since I had the accident. I still have very little feeling in my ring finger and pinky on both hands. Also, those same digits often feel like they are on fire; especially when I try to lie down. Sleep is a key ingredient in the body's healing process, and to be candid, sustained periods of sleep are not to be had at this point. I am constantly tired, so, I ask my friends who believe in prayerful intercession to lift this need up to our Father.

Also, I have three venues (mission fields) that God has blessed me to minister within. They are: Hamilton Baptist Church; the five corporations I serve through Corporate Chaplains of America, and Columbus Regional Hospital. At the present, I am unable to serve. I am housebound. The CCA companies I serve are being cared for by two of my chaplain friends, Mike and Dan. Last Sunday, due to special circumstances, I stammered through a message at HBC, but I am truly limited at the present. I don't have the physical resources to engage.

We are never out of God's care, and during this time I have a strong sense of God's Presence and care (it's there even when I don't sense it). I am using it to read, listen, and pray. I believe God is pleased with what I am doing with this time on the sidelines. I see it as an opportunity to be filled up in order to be poured out in God's time.

Last, keep Sandy in prayer. She continues to teach each day at CTC, and provide me with loving care. She is a remarkable person in all aspects and deeply devoted to all that matters in this temporal world.

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Somewhere Around Midnight

Josh arrived last night. He is always pleasant and helpful company. As I write, I am in the ejection seat/recliner and Josh is fast asleep on the couch (we have three other beds, but he just wants to look out for his dad).

If there is any pattern to my nighttime, it is this. I start out in bed around 10 pm. Then, somewhere around midnight, aches and pains (and other issues I am sure you do not want to know) force me out to the lift-chair/recliner specially designed for people recuperating from surgeries like mine.

Next, I try to read, which is next to impossible, followed by writing down a few thoughts which is frustrating (I have no feeling in 4 of my 8 fingers). Using a modified two-finger pecking system, I manage to gather letters from a swirling keyboard that become words. Thoughts like the following emerge…

After spending the bulk of my adult life around peers who, like myself, consider themselves Christian, now only a fragment of my face to face time is with people who are regular church-goers. But during this recovery, this remnant have indeed been Christ-like toward Sandy and me. They have prayed for us in our presence and over the phone. Generous baskets of food have been delivered, and they continue to reach out to us however they sense God prompting. It's beautiful...

A second group of friends and caregivers has emerged. As most of you know, although I still pastor, I am in somewhat of a different career. The end-game is the same, but my route is quite different. My second career, with Corporate Chaplains of America, allows me to build relationships with some of the most caring people you could ever meet. Yet, I may never see them at church. However, as the events of this accident unfolded they called, came by the ER, sent baskets of food, and reached out in many ways. A couple of these friends, not frequenters of houses of prayer, told me they would pray for me... like I prayed for them during their crises. It's beautiful...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Quiet Moments...

I missed being out of the pulpit yesterday. Not so much the pulpit, but the group of people that have become my church family. They are dear to me. I hold them in my thoughts and prayers differently than I have held other congregations. As I prepare messages from God's Word, even that process has changed from days gone by.

It's the wee hours of the morning. I do what I can, when I can. To this point, there is little structure to my life apart from scheduled medical appointments of various kinds and medications. So I close my eyes and bring to mind the faces of the people I serve. I give thanks for them. I intercede, bringing whatever needs I know them to have to our Heavenly Father. Likewise, I retrieve from my memories a list of the many friends that have reached out to Sandy and me throughout the day in so many ways, and I give thanks.

There is a real sense of God's presence...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Keeping Watch...

Last Monday, my bike went out from under me. I choose to ride clipped into my pedals, because it provides the most efficient use of energy. There is at least one drawback to being clipped in; you can't always get your foot released if things go wrong.

On Monday things went wrong.

My front tire went flat as I made a slow right turn. In an instant, I went down. A young guy from Ft. Benning was coming toward me--in a vehicle--in the other lane, and stopped to give aide. I asked him to wait a minute while I did a self-check, but that I didn't think I had hurt myself. In seconds, I realized I couldn't move my right leg, and when I slid my hand down to my hip it didn't protrude--it was concave.

So, on Tuesday I became the proud owner of a titanium hip. Due to my age and health, they didn't recommend a partial replacement. To date, physical therapy says I am way ahead of the curve in my strengthening and healing. Pain management has been exceptional, but is accompanied with the most wonderful sort of drowsiness that makes it hard to read or focus. I have no feeling in my ring and pinky finger on either hand which makes it difficult to do any word processing. And last, but not least, I will be glad when the catheter is no longer needed.

I love the Lord and trust my life and this stuff into his hands. Today, I am resolved to keep watch through this new adventure, rather than ask, "Why?"  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Valley Of Vision

Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee
in the heights;
hemmed in by the mountains of sin I behold
thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
     that the way down is the way up,
     that to be low is to be high,
     that the broken heart is the healed heart,
     that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
     that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
     that to have nothing is to possess all,
     that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
     that to give is to receive,
     that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime the stars can be seen from
     deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter
     thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
     thy life in my death,
     thy joy in my sorrow,
     thy grace in my sin,
     thy riches in my poverty,
     thy glory in my valley. ~ Arthur Bennett, Canon of St. Albans Cathedral, England