Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blessed

The first night I was home from the hospital was pretty rough. I hadn’t really slept more than an hour or two for the last four days. The pain was really bad especially when I had to stand up and walk anywhere. Sitting up in bed was an agonizing proposition. I had tried to lie down on the couch but found out that it took me half an hour (not exaggerating) to get back off of it.

I went to sleep that night hoping that being in my own bed would help me have a peaceful, restorative sleep. I did sleep for about four hours until the pain medication wore off. I must have woken up grabbed a glass to drink some water because I remember waking up soaking wet with the glass lying on my chest. I remember having a vague feeling of ‘oh crap’ and I fell back asleep. I finally became more alert and realized I had a real problem. I was in terrible pain. I needed water to take pills to make the pain go away. Since I had spilled the water I was going to have to get up to get more. Oh yeah, I was wet, my pillow was wet.

I decided to get up and watch television while the medication was kicking in. Before I did that I had a verse in my head:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3, NIV)

I wanted to look up the verse on my computer. The verse in the New Living Translation reads:

God blesses those who realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them

I felt pretty far from heaven at that time. I didn’t understand what was going on or why it was going on. I still don’t really understand but I do know that God has been providing for me and taking care of me. For that I am very grateful.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Holy Lord


About this time last Thursday night I was lying on a paramedic’s stretcher in the hallway of the St. Boniface Hospital Emergency Department. I had been transferred from the Grace Hospital when they found out that I needed my appendix removed that night. My condition had grown gradually worse. My heart rate was really high and they were pumping me with fluids to try and keep it down. The pain was terrible. The hospital was very busy and they had trouble finding someone who could give me pain medication.

I was alone and really scared. The pain was becoming harder to bear. I had been able to reason out God’s presence in the hands of the people who cared for me. I needed to feel Him. Lying strapped to a paramedic’s stretcher that is hard to do. It is hard to think about any prayer or way to call out to God. So I did what I could.

I begin to sing one of the first songs I learned as a Christian. It was the version of Holy Lord by Steve Bell. After a few times singing the song the nurse who had come with me in the ambulance came over to see if I was okay. My eyes were rolling back in my head and I guess I appeared to be muttering to myself. When I told her that I was singing she felt really bad. She was powerless to get me pain medication.

But I didn’t feel powerless. I could feel God’s presence. The pain medication didn’t come immediately but it did come soon after that. I also got a bed not much later. A couple of people came to see me before I went in for surgery that night. I no longer felt alone. I was still scared about the surgery but somehow I also knew I was held. Even if my appendix did rupture I would be okay.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Need


I used to think that one would be much better off to go into the hospital, find out something was wrong, and have it operated on the same day than to have a chronic problem that they had to have a scheduled surgery for. I mean the suffering would be shortened right?

On Thursday I had an emergency appendectomy at 11pm. Having your appendix out is actually a fairly routine minor surgery. Having an emergency appendectomy is a different thing. It is still minor surgery but I had no time to process what was going on. I had no time to think of questions and no time to prepare.

If I had known I was going for surgery I would have cleaned my house, bought groceries, given my employer time to make plans for my absence, told my friends that I was going to be in hospital, and prepared some things that I would need with me in the hospital. None of that happened.

Leaving the hospital on Saturday was pretty overwhelming. I had some immediate needs like cleaning my house and people to bring some food for me to eat. I couldn't even really clean up after myself when I ate. I was thinking yesterday that believe I have never been in a position of such need before. Then God gave me a word picture. Even with the profound need I have this is really nothing compared to how much I (we) need Him. Like child who doesn’t really understand the logistics of groceries and cleaning the house I need God every day more than I know.