Recent photo of my parents in my office

Recent photo of my parents in my office

December 22, 2007

A Chance to Return!

Dear Friends,

I can only count it a great blessing for all your intercessions and care. Margie faithfully took over the reports on our family and on my health, but I owe it to you to thank God for the ways that I have day by day chances to see him carry me through cycles of pain and relief, unexpected downfalls, and reaffirmations of hope. As Margie reports, I have had definite improvement in my capacity to be active, present, articulate, and even able to go to work for 1-2 hours per day. For this I am so grateful.

As far as pain goes, I'm reminded of passages in C.S. Lewis in which he speaks of the mystery of pain, and of the way in which we as human beings are all cowards in the face of it. I can only say, "True." Who wants it? Yet it is not our choice, it arrives unwanted and departs unexplained at times.

The pain I am enduring has a definite cycle of 6 hours or so, when I take a pain-relief med. Building up to that time can be obviously more challenging, but an outward focus and a personal connection or sleeping are always helps in alleviating that. When I do have pain, it comes to my lower back, and then down the right leg (for the most part). I can't breathe too deeply nor exert/extend my arms with force or energy, so those are areas for caution.

At any rate, I thank God that I've learned more about handling these episodes. For one thing, if I can learn to breathe deeply, lie flat, and pray the Jesus prayer instead of fighting pain ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner"), it is not at all uncommon to reach a point of peace. What a surprise. My pain flows into the cross.

I think I may also have mentioned the meditation on the seven-last words of Christ on the cross as helpful as well, but I've failed to be as consistent in that meditation. At any rate, it is deeply comforting to receive the love of God in the midst of discomfort. This is most often mediated by my family. How would I survive this without them?

Margie is a rock of defense and security. What a blessing I received in her! My mother is a nurse, a caregiver, a nutritional expert in cooking, and she knows just what I need to do, even at times when it takes some more effort (!) My father and I have become closer than ever in our lives, and I count that a great privilege. We have started the practice of reading the daily office of Scripture together each morning after my breakfast.

Well, friends, that's a bit of news. What I want you also to know is that I seek to find ways to remember to intercede for you as well, when my mind is focused. Otherwise, I trust the Holy Spirit to take all of the words, spoken and unspoken, to fulfill his purposes for his glory.

Love and a Merry Christmas to you all!

John

2 comments:

Sandra said...

John,
It's wonderful to see you back "on line."
I have been praying Psalm 71 with your name. Last night, during my devotionals I read Psalm 91 and immediately thought of you.
"The LORD is your protection; you have made God Most high your place of safety. Nothing bad will happen to you; no disaster will come to your home. He has put His angels in charge of you to watch over you wherever you go." Psalm 91: 9-11 (NCV)
I wish you and all your family a very merry and blessed Christmas.
um abraço
Sandra Fatio
São Paulo
ps....great picture!! (my best to your parents)

At A Hen's Pace said...

John,

Praise be to God for the health you are experiencing! Eirik says it has wonderful to be with you.

We love you all so much--

Jeanne & all