Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blessed X 20,200

Sometimes I forget. I have lived approximately 20,200 days on this planet. Every now and then God sends or allows an event into my life that reminds me just how blessed I have been. I am in the middle of one of those events. And as I navigate my way through it, it is so very important to me to learn what I am to learn and, as Paul said, to "Rejoice in the Lord always." You see, very, very few of my 20,200 days have been days of extreme difficulty. And not one of them has been a day of true devastation. And yes, sometimes I forget.

I am 55 years old and this morning was the first time I looked down at my arm to see this ...

Most of you recognize that as the tubing apparatus of an "IV." You recognize it because you have had one ... or many ... before. And it took me 55 years to have my first.

How blessed I am!

Yesterday I was riding with my son, Christopher, through the streets of St. Peters, Missouri. Our quest was simple. Secure a load of Chinese food to take home to our respective brides. Yes, we are the "hunters/gathers" of our family. Suddenly I noticed an influx of "floaters" crossing my field of vision in my left eye. This isn't totally new to me. I've had a few of these harmless yet annoying things since I was in high school. But this was extreme. By the time we got back to Christopher's apartment my left eye was hazy. It would come and go ... but mainly come. I chalked it up to some unknown intercranial event and hoped it would pass quickly. Evening came and with it a dark house. I walked across the living room to the light of the television behind me. I turned my head quickly to the left to glance down the hallway and immediately noticed a bright flash of light rocket in an arc through the periphral visioon of the same eye. Every time I turned my head I saw this flash.

Uhhhh ... not good. I recognized those as signs of a potential tear of the retina. This is referred to as "an emergency situation." I caved in and told Debbie what was going on. We decided to sleep on it and see if it went away over night. It didn't. And so I did something I've never done before. I asked my assistant pastor to speak in my place with only a couple of hours notice. (Thanks, Mike!) And I told Debbie that I needed to go to the emergency room. Now THAT is another something that I have never done. I set my own broken toe once, buddy taped it to the one next to it, put my shoes on, and darted off to pray with a woman before her surgery. My toe was at a total 90 degree angle before I set it. But real men don't go to the emergency room!

Until it starts "lightening" in his head. That's a game changer.

So I found myself lying on a gurnee staring at my first IV this morning, waiting for a doctor to come and do an ultrasound on my left eye. As of now they have pretty much decided that my retina is just fine, thank you. Actually, they didn't find anything wrong. That's because we passed about 10 hospitals to get to the mega-hospital where my doctor's all work. You know. The one that's also like a "level 1 trauma center." And their main eye examiining machine is on the fritz. Go figure.

The agenda tomorrow includes a fun visit to my opthomologist who will do all of those things that the hospital could not. They suspect that the gooey fluid inside of my left eyeball (there's a real name for it but neither of us would be able to pronounce it so I'm going with "gooey fluid") has torn away from the wall of the eye, causing all of this fun. If so, there's a good chance that it's self-healing. Or maybe not. All I know tonight is that this guy is going to do the one thing that I hate more than I hate eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He's going to actually TOUCH my eyeball. This could put one of us a great risk for bodily harm.

But all of that is not the important part. That's just the details to help you understand this....

God? I hope you read my blog because there is something that I want to say to you. Thank you so very much. You've given me this body. It was never designed for speed. That's always been obvious to anyone who has been watching. It can't run a fast mile or do a 30 foot long jump. This body was built for duration. Endurance. Thank you for 55 years without an IV. I do not feel sorry for myself because I am having some problems, God. (Though if you would like to take them away that would be fine with me.) I feel blessed X 20,200. And I thank you, Sir.


Pam Stewart said...

I think that sometimes God puts events into our lives to either: A, slow us down to remind us to "be still and know that He is God" or B, to get our attention for something He has in store for us. I have had several of these events in my lifetime. This is one of those events for you. I am praying for you that you will find that it is A or B or maybe both. I am praying for you my friend.

Anonymous said...

Jeanne and I are praying for you. Though you don't need it.

You are right, you are and have been blessed. You have seen trials and tribulations. Yet you have been restored every time. As we get older our trials that are formed by nature are not to be dismissed, yet as you know you will be restored.

Thank you for showing such leadership as to recognize and state so clearly that it is only God who can restore and to Him we owe are praise.

Kellye Fabian said...


This is Kellye Fabian. You have commented on my blog justhanginingontograce and I have so appreciated your comments. I love your words too. I hope you are doing ok and have been praying for you. I also wanted to let you know that my gmail account was hacked and it somehow deleted or locked my blog. So sad. Anyway, I've opened a new one on wordpress and I wanted to pass it on to you so I don't lose you as a reader. The new site is
Hope you keep reading.