Waiting in the Waiting Room

So here I am in the emergency waiting room at Edmond Regional Hospital. I’m experiencing a strange neck pain that came on suddenly three days ago.  The pain started as a soreness on the left side of my neck and has since spread down my left side of my neck, into my ear and my entire head (primarily my left side) is throbbing. I’m a bit dizzy. This is a strange pain. I’ve never experienced it before. So I’m waiting on a CT scan most likely to check the condition of my carotid artery.

In all this, I feel like writing. While in this waiting room, I’m looking at people in pain, people distracted, tired people. One woman is crying and holding her side. Another is laughing and talking far too loudly. People are standing, walking, pacing …all uncertain.
And the thing I keep thinking about is the new body that God will give me. I see the frailty and feel trapped and enslaved to my body. Some people identify themselves with their body. I never have. I’ve always viewed myself inhabiting this shell. Its the reason why I don’t take care of my health – because “my health” is not really mine. It belongs to this body that I just happen to be in.

Honestly, I’m OK with death. I don’t fear it at all. I know that the moments before it happens may include pain and disorientation, but I also know that it will be temporary. The only thing I fear about death is what my absence will do to my family.

This is the real fear and it is a near constant presense for me. It is always lurking in the dark corners of my mind. I have no doubts in the miraculous faithfulness of God to provide, but there are also the practical realities of that they would face. The ever-present nature of this fear is due to the continual war that I wage between what I know I should do and what I actually do.

That needs some explanation. Since I consider myself to be something other than my body, I don’t take care of my body. I know I should because I realize that my temporal experience here with my family exists within the physical world. As long as I exist within space-time, I can have no other experience of my family than that which is grounded in the physical.

Yet, for some reason this intellectual acknowledgment does not provide sufficient motivation for behavoral change. So here I am at the hospital most likely the result of my not taking care well enough. Truth and consequences.

When sin entered the world, so did disease and sickness, injury and pain. Such is the broken world we live in. Yet, even waiting here, in my own pain, writing about my own shortcomings and failings, I see the restoration that is coming. Eden will return. Once again we will be clothed in light and not know our nakedness. And one day, my loved-ones and I will walk with our Father in the cool of the day.

Come quickly Lord Jesus and take us home.

UPDATE: Turns out the neck pain was caused by muscle spasms.  Muscles may not be able to think for themselves, but they can make you think.

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Another Special Son is Born

cimg03471 My second son, Ashwin Cade was born December 19.  I’m amazed at how God not only blesses us, but seems to enjoy piling on the blessings so that they spill over.  I imagine God as my father with a big, wide smile and bright eyes as he gave us Ashwin.  We were already so blessed to have Harper, but God, who is especially fond of us, blessed us even more.

In a previous post, I told the story of the song, You Never Let Go by Matt Redman that I heard when my wife and I found out that Ashwin had a cyst in his brain (diagnosed at 20 weeks, disappeared after 35 weeks).  This song gave me immense comfort when I was scared.  …You’ll love this next part.

Last Friday morning, when we got into the car to go the hospital for the scheduled C-section, I was nervous about the surgery and Ashwin’s health.  I turned on the car and the first song on the radio was You Never Let Go.  I felt that it was God telling me again, as a reassuring father that He would be with our family during the procedure and that Ashwin and Tara would be alright.  I was overwhelmed by the attention that God was giving us.  Of all the physical laws and people and planets and lives God is busy directing, He intentionally took that moment to focus on our family and give us not only a special song to communcate that everything would be fine, but he went over the top with extra credit to make that song the same one that we heard 20 weeks prior and that gave us such comfort then.  God is like this.  He is many things, and He is personal and caters His attention to each person so that they can know that He is especially fond of them in particular.  God is good and is smiling as we hold our new Ashwin.  Thank you God.

You never let go

Stress

Worry

Doubt

Lack of control

On Aug. 28, 2008 , Tara and I went to the doctor for a routine  ultrasound of our unborn son, Ashwin.  The doctor found a choroid cist in one of the lobes of his brain.  She indicated that this could be a sign of a chromazomal abnormality called Trisomy 18.  Most babies having Trisomy 18 never survive until birth.  Of those that do, most die within the first few weeks of life due to deformities and other physical abnormalities.

Needless to say, Tara and I were shocked by this news and very frightened.  In this state of shock, I got into my car.  When I turned the ignition, the song You Never Let Go by Matt Redman was playing.  Here are the lyrics I heard.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

(Chorus:)
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

(Chorus)

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on

And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Even in the storm of this horrible news, I felt that God was with us and had not left us alone.

Update from December 2008:

Another ultrasound at 8 months.  The choroid cist has disappeared from Ashwin’s brain and all signs of abonormality have vanished.  Praise God.  Ashwin will be born the week of December 14.

Death and Birth on October 2nd

Today Van Tran told me for a second time about his father’s death.  He died on October 2, 1960 (something).  I’m many previous conversations, Van and I have been discussing Yin Yang and the oriental concept of balance.  Yin is cold and dark.  Yang is hot and light.  These ideas are the same as the ones that I have been led to by the Spirit.  Everything in life has a balance.

Since I no longer believe in coincidence, I must conclude that there is some purpose behind my meeting Van.  His father died on October 2nd.  My son was born on October 2nd.  These two events would have no meaning if Van and I had not met.  However, we did meet and they have meaning.  Not on that, but one event is death, the other is birth to new life.  What does this mean?  I don’t know at this time, but it does fit in nicely with Yin Yang, and the merging of Eastern and Western thought that I have been pondering.