OW!

warning-sign-304370_1280Ever heard of a tibial tubercle transfer?  Yeah.  Neither had I until our middle daughter needed one.  It isn’t fun either.  Layman’s version: the leg bone connected to the knee bone doesn’t move properly and has worn away all the cartilage; therefore, the surgeon goes in and moves one of the lower leg bones and screws it into place so it works better.  (That, plus they pasted in some cartilage cells to re-grow the necessary padding in there.  Let’s hear it for Elmer’s!)

Amazing.  Simply amazing.

The point is, knee surgery is painful.  Okay, not the surgery itself since the patient is asleep.  For the patient, the surgery is the easy part; it’s the recovery and physical therapy that kicks you in the teeth.  She ended up with four machines at home for recovery as well as some pretty excruciating exercises.  Hours a day, literally. 

Then there was the battle axe of a physical therapist, God bless her, who won’t waste time with whining about how much it hurts, isn’t afraid of a few tears from her client since she knows that pain is just part of the process toward complete healing.

Our daughter had to have a second surgery a few weeks later because internal scar tissue had built up too fast around the site preventing the needed movement.  I was here for that surgery, and saw the photos the doc took to prove that our daughter’s knee could bend the full 130 degrees.  (Of course, this was under anesthesia.)  Now it was a matter of pushing through the pain to get to that full range of motion.

Truth is a great motivator, because pain can distort the truth.  Pain can be deceiving if I allow pain to define my reality.  Sure, if I put my hand on a glowing hot stove, the pain tells me to take it off, thus preventing further damage.  (Ask me how I know this, a vivid childhood memory…)

On the other hand, just because something is uncomfortable, even painful, doesn’t mean it will always be that way.  Many times, (most times?), pain is just part of the process to full restoration.  Not merely physically, but emotionally, mentally, and—the core of it all—spiritually.  That’s where knowing Truth is important, allowing the truth, not the pain, to define the process and inform my vision.

I’m sure hanging on the cross was summarily unpleasant for Jesus.  However…

“Because of the joy  awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”

This gives me pause to consider that His Truth is not relative, but sees beyond my immediate circumstances.  Like the photos provided to our daughter to encourage her to push through the pain.  It will hurt, but it will not damage.  In fact, it’s just an expected part of the gaining full spiritual mobility. 

Which is what Jesus has in store for all of us.

Hebrews 12:2  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Do I have to do this, too?

wood 2I remember, as a kid, singing from the hymnbook in church and after awhile realizing I was singing the words, but my mind was somewhere else.  C’mon, I’m not the only one!! 

Alright, I’ll even go a step further in the confessional.  I was leading our small congregation in that song, Trading My Sorrows. (Okay, so I don’t quite sound like the guy in the video….)

I was telling our folks that the negatives in our lives actually do have trade-in value to God and that we can to give them to Him.  He values our sorrows, our pain.  But here’s the rub: when I say something on stage, God’s really pointing the finger at me, isn’t He?  (Ouch.) Continue reading “Do I have to do this, too?”

Unconditional

quill

Not enough can be said about the the amazing things God accomplishes through our pain.  (Anyone not yet seen Pixar’s Inside Out??)  In light of that, here’s another beautiful offering of grace from Nico at Ancient Skies.  

UNCONDITIONAL

When our trauma has been washed, and we are in one piece again,

our blood shot eyes will begin to see the good

in each of us, and our shattering

will teach us the courage

to love

unconditionally.

       

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2016, ancient skies

Ouch

quillEvidently, poetry, not unlike prose, can arise in the bosom of life’s epiphanies or adventures, e.g., The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, or even our own Star Spangled Banner. Today’s offering comes from the coffers of my own experience.  I prefer to allow the reader his or her own interpretation:

I wore my socks

And stubbed my toe,

It’s had its knocks,

But now I know:

My toe is blue,

It hurts to walk,

So wear a shoe,

(Like I should talk)

Next week, I will return to those more skilled than I in this fine art.  Perhaps, then, I can walk a bit more.