June 2019 Doodles
With apologies to lovers and teachers of English everywhere, I offer these observations of the last few weeks from a cardio-vascular perspective, or as some might say, my views from the heart.
First of all, I want to thank all those who kept things running at the church while I’ve been gone, especially my wife, Karen, who kept the administrative blood flowing, and Dee Rice, who kept her finger on the pulse of the congregation. Also thanks to those who have stepped up and preached, and are going to preach in the next few days: Richard Morgan, Dee Rice, and Bill Coleman. Let’s offer them a hearty round of applause for their willingness to share a Word from the Lord with us.
There were so many little cells of activity that they are hard to count, but I want to make sure that we recognize that the little things that go on every Sunday don’t happen by accident. Scott Strovas has been great in organizing worship activities, Sue and Chris Lewellen and Gaylan Goddard have been great at tending to the logistics of everyday Sunday stuff, and your session has been energetic and proactive in making sure that the heavy lifting gets done and the burdens are shared. I so appreciate everything that you are doing, and what you will be doing for just a little while longer. It has been a wonderful thing to watch you come together from a distance, and I am so very proud of my little church in Plainview. You continue to demonstrate to the world what a Christian Community looks and acts like, whether in times of still waters or trial, and it’s nice to be able to see that in action from time to time.
I also want to thank those of you who came down and visited me in Lubbock. The first week or so is a blur, but I felt your love and concern, and that sustained me through some dark moments. Elise, David, Scott, Dee, Sue, Chris, Barb, Whit, Gaylan, Kevin, Robin, Dean, Sherry, I love you guys, and will never be able to repay your kindness. As an aside, Matt Thompson visited me several times, and was kind enough to bring me a real cup of coffee from the cafeteria, which was such a blessing, I really don’t have words. Jim and Graham, thanks so much for coming over when I came home and helping Wiley set up the recliner. Trust me, I’m using it to its full potential.
While I’m thanking folks for visiting, I want to make sure I include Julie McDonald, Sarah Lee Morris, Sam and Cathy Lanham, Bob Fields and Bob Covington, and Davis and Janet Price as members of our extended Presbyterian family in Lubbock who provided many acts of pastoral love and support. I even had a visit from Al, a Chaplain from Interim Hospice care, whom I had gotten to know through David Adamson, and that was a nice surprise.
And of course, my greatest thanks go to my family, who, for better or worse, have been with me every step of the way. My mom and dad and brother Michael, the one who catches fish, came down from Western Colorado, my childhood babysitter, Twila Penland, visited several times, and fed my family down in Lubbock, and Wiley and Karen have had to take on a huge role in my care, not just emotional, but physical and mental as well. I wish with all my heart that this burden had not fallen to you, but I am so glad to have you with me. Please forgive my frustrations and sometimes capricious needs.
So far, the physical therapy folks are very happy with me, but it is going to be a while before I am back at full strength. For the next few week, I’m not able to lift more than 10 lbs, and need to limit my physical activities. I anticipate being in worship (but not participating) on the 9th for the big NORAC Sunday with Rich and Carol Schempp, and then gradually making my way back into the office and Pulpit after that. It will probably be a month or so before the doctors allow me to drive, and I know that emotionally and spiritually, I will be recovering for quite a while.
On the other hand, I feel right now that I will recover, as opposed to the first week or so after the surgery, when I wasn’t so sure.
Spiritually, it’s still to early to draw any earthshaking conclusions about what has happened to me, except to rejoice in the love of God as expressed through the compassion and work of a kind and strong church family. I’m sure that in the next season of my life, God’s desires will be revealed to me, but for right now, I’m just grateful to have been given the time I have.
May blessings and peace be upon all of us during this time of healing.