I’ve been unable to walk since the Fall of 1981. My normal bodily functions from armpits down were greatly interrupted by an accident which resulted in paralysis those twenty-five long years ago. The injury is considered ‘complete’ in clinical terms as opposed to ‘incomplete’ where there might be some patches of sensation or movement below the point of injury. Complete, as you might surmise, means there is no sensation, no movement whatsoever.
And that’s all okay. Praise the Lord anyhow!
I have oftentimes run into folks who were injured just like me yet never lost sensation or ability to walk and I have rarely, if ever, felt even a tinge of jealousy. One thing that was settled with me epochs ago is the comfort of God’s supreme sovereignty, that His will is being performed in me and the glory is His. I’ve given my years of disability to establish the truth of a God who cares in a world that hurts. That He wastes nothing. That suffering is mostly redemptive and the glory and grace of God is more brilliantly, incandescently and accessibly revealed in our trials.
I could say all these things, and do, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to speak these matters into the church ANY better than what I’ve recently posted and read from others. Marisa’s story and her husband’s “letter to cancer” is catching fire all over cyberspace through various links such as found here, so whenever I’d go to my dashboard page and see who was clicking in, I noticed a plethora of hits from a site called ‘EspeciallyHeather’. Hmmmm. So I went there and found myself weeping, praying and marveling at this young 32-year old preacher’s kid, worship leader and mother of three kids, the youngest of whom lives with extreme autism. Like Marisa and Mendeldt, she and her husband Mark are true warriors of the faith and visual aids to the church of God’s superlative wisdom and ever-reaching faithfulness to His own.
Heather’s story is this: some time ago, while suffering from an inner ear infection, she was checked out and to everyone’s shock, a tumor was found in the front of her brain. Heather is in Rochester, MN right now getting ready for the tumor’s removal on Thursday. The doctors have told her there is a strong possibility of partial paralysis on her right side, loss of voice and even death. If you peruse her posts, you’ll find a sister-believer who has a strong faith, refreshing transparency, and giddy gusto for life. The body of Christ is better, much, much better with people like Heather and Marisa in it. Thank you, Lord.
All her posts are quite touching and real but this excerpt got me. Me, a grown guy sitting at a table in a (where else?) Starbucks, crying like a baby with people all around me. Who cares? My God is good, eternally loving and wise beyond my understanding. Thanks, Heather, for being a “weak” vessel in whom we can clearly see the Treasure of treasures. God is with you…
“…There are things that you talk about with your spouse that you would never talk about with anyone else in times like this. Not because they are so personal and private, but because they are so amazingly honest. Mark and I were talking about the risks of the procedure- death being one of them; He looked me square in the eyes and said “If you die, I will be so angry”, he paused and then said “because you will get to see Christ before me”. Having a husband who truly gets it- truly understands what this is about is so wonderful. This isn’t about me- never was.
Last night while we were coming up the elevator, he asked how I was feeling- and I told him that I was nervous. And I am. But at this point I have no control over what Thursday holds for me. I can cry and flip out and waste these next 48 hours on what ifs and fear, or I can enjoy them knowing that whatever the outcome on Thursday- I lived my life to fullest. I laughed, I loved so very deeply, and more than anything I tried to share Christs love at every opportunity these last 3 weeks. Come Thursday, all I can do is lay my antibacterial washed head down on that table and find peace in the knowledge whatever happens at the end of the day-
He’s already there…”
UPDATE (5/4/07): Give praise for the marvelous news!