Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25: Day 11

I'm on oxycodon as I write this, so if I write anything really weird, be a little more forgiving than usual with me today.

I sure wish my news didn't involve hemorrhoids. I'm not even up to date on Jerry, who's probably getting his biopsy today, because there was just enough pain to tire me and knock me out. I slept most of the morning, despite a good night's sleep.

I'm more run down today, but I got up early and walked a mile anyway (around and around the square hallway).

I don't know if that was a good idea, considering the hemorrhoids.

If you're grossed out by bodily functions, you might want to exit here or skip a few paragraphs because there's some good stuff down below.

Basically, having a bowel movement is an event, and there's been a couple times that I've walked out of the bathroom shaking and with sweat on my forehead from the pain. Worse, because they have to make sure my stool's soft, I can end up going several times a day because of medication they're giving me.

They've given me several different things to deal with my "issues," all but one of which provides some help.

What they tell me is that my 'rhoids qualify for surgical removal, but they can't do that. No surgery on immuno-compromised patients. We have to remember that this is the route to saving my life.

I've found one treatment that is very helpful, and I finally got it prescribed today. But en route to actually receiving the treatment, I hit a pain threshold I couldn't bear. I called the nurse, and I asked her to please have a doctor "take a look."

I think it was not just the pain. I think there was a little bit of not knowing exactly what was happening to cause the pain. I assure you, though, that it takes an intense pain level to ask a doctor to look at my hemorrhoids.

So when the doctor was able to make sure nothing was pinched, perforated, and that something hadn't burst open down there, I felt somewhat better.

As I said, I'm treated now, and it's better, but they also gave me an oxycodon, which is a pretty powerful pain pill often prescribed for toothaches.

So here I am, buzzing on oxycodon.

Learning Always

As a Christian, I'm called to be a teacher. But if you want to be a good teacher, you have to be first and foremost a learner.

Bad things don't happen to me. "Things" happen to me, neither good nor bad, and God works them together for good because I love God, even if rather poorly, and he has called me according to his purpose.

I told my wife and another friend that I felt like a seal in the mouth of an orca. (Hmm. Another good word Blogger doesn't recognize.) Have you even seen the way an orca plays with a seal before it eats it. Sometimes the killer whale will beat the seal so thoroughly, knocking it in the air with its tale, that it rips the skin completely off of it.

This morning the pain was so bad, and I felt so helpless. I tried to turn my eyes to God, but he seemed so far away. Somehow. I really felt pretty peaceful, anyway, like I was just supposed to suffer.

Really, it didn't last very long—a few minutes, probably—before the pain started to dissipate.

So what to learn? Does God need to divest me of more of my need to be in control?

Maybe, but he can take care of that. He really doesn't need my help for that.

Part of the pain issue was the fear issue. I didn't know when the pain would end or how long it would last. It was in a very scary part of my anatomy, and with the pain so great, the thought, "Am I dying," has to run through your mind.

Don't you worry about me. I'm in God's hands, and the people imprisoning me are doing so to save my life, to take care of me, and they're doing their job with astounding care and kindness.

Here's some people you can worry about ...

Human Trafficking

A lady gave a flyer to my wife about human trafficking the other day.

Do you know that young girls get kidnapped and sold into prostitution or are forced to perform on video? Right here in Tennessee?

Those girls experience even more frightening pain, and they are the captives of people who are at the furthest remove from kind. has information no how you can help to stop human trafficking.

Unfortunately, we have to work at the prevention level. Stopping what's already happened is very, very difficult. Organizations like Be the Jam are working at education so the public becomes more aware and sex trafficking (and other kinds of human trafficking) becomes less likely to happen.

There's always someone suffering worse than you.

Living a Life Worth Living

Nothing will kill dreams like fear. Imagine finishing your life knowing you did the things that you wanted to do, not just whatever was convenient at the moment.

I'm all for adventure and fun. That's part of what makes life worth living, and in our exuberance for life we make other's lives just that much more worth living.

But mixed in with the adventure and fun needs to be a choice to make a difference.

The Power To Do What You Already Wish You Did

I don't believe in preaching Jesus Christ for the sake of brownie points in heaven. I think getting people to ask Jesus in their heart can be a complete waste of time and even a harmful block to the things that The Truth, the eternal Word of God, which is who Jesus is, wants to do in their lives.

The apostle Paul argued that the human problem is that we don't have the ability to do what we really want to do, what we know is right. Instead, we are moved by sin to live in our bodily desires, in whatever makes us feel good at the moment.

Jesus' offer, if you will become his disciple, is to put the Spirit of God inside of you so that you have the power to overcome those bodily desires and do the things that will make you glad you lived the way you did when you die.

And better yet--something American Christianity has often forgotten--he offers to put you in a family of people who feel the same way, have the same Spirit, and are focused on the same purpose. "Church" is not a building, and it's not a meeting. It's the family of God, really acting like a family, and there is nothing like the power that comes out of that reality.

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