The Tale, The Test

Once upon a time in a land of giants, lived a woman searching for a dream.  The tall buildings and tall tales of love had left her scorned . . . what now to believe in?  “Who can I trust with the tender desires of my heart? she pondered.  And what would she do to make some sense of this story of hers that has not turned out like anyone had planned really?

Once upon a time in a land of lakes and rivers, backyards that you can really afford, and the modest building of boxes, lived a noble man.  He too had been scorned but by a shrewy one, shrinking his honorable stature in society and beyond.  And what will he do to calm the distant tempests of this life, to live in peace no matter what may come?

As fate would have it, the two dreamers met over the wires one cold Wintry day.  He warmed her with his intellect and she him with her remaining spark.  The love between them grew with passion, with promise of a happy ending together one day maybe soon.  So they married.  And life was good in the land not far away.

She learned to love the countryside, the bearded natives, the giant heart of her Sterjoy.  For in his arms she found love like no other.  “Jesus with skin on,” she would say.  Her night in shining aluminum for sure was now here.

He learned to love the green of the earth, the richness of organic life, the sweet spirit of his Jaboo.  For in her keeping he found respect as the man, the leader within that would emerge over time.  His delight he spoke of often; her delight to receive.

They found things in common:  to write, the open water, a furry Pupster too.  Road trips were a perfect match for his love to drive through the night with her lunchbox that was filled with all of their favorite things in tow.  Their families said, “at last!” and even the kids eventually came around as well.  Theirs was something unique crafted just for these years as all could see.  Their heartache had melted into a life that was lovely to the praise of the Lord who brought them together indeed.

Their biggest moment came four years later; no one saw it coming that fateful night.  ‘Twas a mystery at first as to why she was so sick and then why it would last so long.  They struggled and prayed, they searched and laid hands, they cried and they celebrated when hope would come for a little while at a rest stop in their lengthening journey.

Then things got uglier and she seized relentlessly day after night!  She reached for her Sterjoy with angst and often no words would come but the love between them would endure nonetheless.  He continued to slay dragons then try to minister to his wife late into the darkness without fail.  The toll was palpable yet they lived on, trying and hoping only to have their hearts thrown against the wall time and time again.  Herein was THEIR TEST.

Some tests take 2 hours, some longer, up to the duration of your life.  How will you respond when the buttons in the fabric of your character are pushed into your soul?  Most of us won’t know until it happens to us.  And if we make it to the other side who will care when it’s even worse at the next one waiting beyond:  oh no, it’s here again, the next trial?  When all you know matters not with the tears that collect on your worn sneakers that you are sure can take you no further, no further, I said no further, you are done!

They pondered and prayed some more.  They searched the Scriptures of Life.  Fellows held them up then held them out for a blessing, for respite, and neither seemed to come as the sunrise cast into its fall.  Then they realized that there were wounds in their hearts that their love had blinded them to . . . placing them on the chopping block or maybe for ransom and neither was able to make it different: oh my, just how?  They had done all they knew to do, that which prayer and inspiration had taught.  But it was their woundedness that needed to go first you see.  It had to leave whether she would realize her last breath or not.  To go on would require this.  How to keep the music playing in their hearts for each other was the real test right now!

So being the faithful man of God, Sterjoy separated the shrewy from his Jaboo.  He placed both on the throne of grace and turned his face to Jesus Christ for Thy will to be done.  He waited again.  He trusted in the Lord over all then waited and waited once again.

She being the receiver of the Spirit’s voice, obeyed in a way like never before.  She trusted even in the time when crisis came around again:  like a weak muscle that got worked but had only brought forth a crawl thus far.  And as she would trust and trust some more until her mind won over her heart, until both of them became strong.

Their story has yet to end while one thing they now know for sure.  The trials of this life are never wasted when the Lord carries you through in his chariot of grace, of love, and His promise for so much more.  Those two lovers hold out for the hope of heaven and know there they both will find rest.  Their love will be perfected by the Giver whose thoughts exceed the sands of the beaches where their lives have taken hold.

This day she has learned to believe her beloved and he, the heart of his dear one.

couple at sunset, couple by the shore, kissing, sunrise, couple at sunrise, Christian marriage, Christian couple

Gentle Reader, this story is a perfect image of the Groom as He envelopes His bride of Christ, His holy church.  How fitting a tale.  How fitting a test for us all. Sterjoy and Jaboo will live happily ever after one day without tears for trusting in the One due our complete respect:  our Lord in shining honor! He is here for these precious ones in their time of need. He is there for you my dear friend too.

Oh yeah. JJ

 

Who will carry me?

It’s easy to bemoan the slide of morality in the United States recently escalated by the legalization of gay marriage.  What is natural to the human body has now been publicly adulterated by the unnatural.  The institution of marriage, which was created by God, has been changed by a few willful and unlawful men who did not even create the institution of marriage.  Alas another door has opened in our lives that will ultimately hurt everyone when his or her rainbow-colored eyes finally open to see it.  But most of us will never see the damage coming until it is too late . . .

When the truth, the pain of what we have done to ourselves is revealed, we will mourn.  Others will mourn the horror of what our complacency, our tolerance has produced.  Further, things will go horribly wrong even for those who believe that free living is right:  things that they could only imagine in a sex-slave murder mystery will come into their reality and hurt them too.  And those of us who have attempted to shine a light or sound an alarm on the moral decline will realize that what we have tried to do could never be enough to change unbridled evil.  Eventually, we all will grieve but for very different reasons.

So who will carry all of our tears?  Who will carry your grief and mine?  “Who” indeed.

boy and wheelbarrow, trees down, storm damage, carry, wheelbarrow, burdens, Lord carried me, Lord carried me, Footprints in the Sand

Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Five-year old Braxton Davis joined the work crew 6.27.15 at Opechee Way and Nokomis Road, using his toy wheel barrow to remove leaves after a large tree fell in the front yard of his house at the Indian Village intersection.

The cute picture above denotes how we have trivialized the important issues of our day.  The picture above denotes how we have traded our core values and beliefs for a picture of life that feels good in the moment.  We have minimized the significance, the impact that our actions, our public statements, our private thoughts, the work of our hands can truly have in the larger picture of life.  These are not a small issues.  Eventually the magnitude and truth of who we are is always revealed.  Eventually a tiny wheel barrow carried by a child that is supposed to help us feel good about hundreds of thousands of dollars of storm damage will be crushed by the tsunami of horror headed our way.  Our world will never be the same for you and me beginning the events of June 26, 2015.

We cannot fix this.  No one individual, you or me, can carry us through to a better future. No one:  no President, no preacher, no crafty writer, no partner, no one can fix what is coming for us or carry our wheelbarrow of tears.  We are alone to face the consequences of these actions.  If we want the pain, the grief to stop then we will have to take our sorrow somewhere many of us have never gone before . . .  But where?

We understand the dilemma inside our own home too, in another way.  Last night was hell for me and Steve.  In the middle of 3 1/2 hours of  continuous convulsive episodes, I struggled to squeak out a request for him to carry me to the bathroom.  I was also in the middle of a 24-hour urine hormone test procedure so imagine my shame in trying to figure out what to do when my hands or legs were not working right.  Neurological collapse had settled in.  Gratefully as soon as he got me upright and helped me with a sip of water, I could use my hands well enough to position the urine cup myself when sitting on the toilet.  I was able to get the sample and dump it into the collection receptacle resting in the bottom of the tub next to the toilet.  Steve then helped me back to bed just in time for the next round of head-banging, wailing, tears, and terrible pain.  And so it went for the sixth night in a row.

I am grateful that when Steve is home, he is very capable of carrying me.  He has done so a hundred times.  He has held me through the ugliest of moments, fed me, clothed me, prayed, and artfully let his deft gallows humor fly at just the right moment in time when we both needed it!  Then there were the thousands of times when he was not there and I still needed help.  I needed to get to the bathroom but my legs would not move.  My throat was parched from cries of sheer angst, hyperventilation, sweats episodes, and chronic dehydration.  I wondered if my next breath would arrive or not.  My tummy growled for hours and I could do nothing to satisfy the hunger.  My brain became too numb to figure out what was in my ability to do or not anyways.  Oh the neck pain from the seizing!  Fearful thoughts, not my own, pushed into my mind by force of some electrical misfiring that goes with seizure activity.  And I cried deeply, feeling alone.

In those moments, Jesus Christ carries me (John 16:32).  I am not alone!  Jesus Christ carries and equips Steve over and over again for the tasks at hand in our marriage (1 Peter 4:10).  Jesus Christ will also carry those who do not know him whenever, wherever they finally reach out for help (Psalm 10:17).  Our God, Jesus Christ, is worthy of our reach since He created us out of love:  shown to all as He grieved bloody tears for our sorrow, our pain (John 11:35) that we endure in this life.  He existed before the time, space, and material that characterizes our lives (John 1:1-4) and is the very reason that we are here.  He loves us more than we can ever imagine and is always here for us, no matter what is going on around us (or within us!) (Matthew 28:20).

Further, we can never say that what freedoms we want, doubts we have about our lives, or the philosophy in our own minds will have anything to do with Who God is.  God, the triune Holy Spirit, Father, and Son (Jesus Christ), is separate from mankind and is not subject to the constraints of this earthly life.  Our ideas simply cannot match up. We will never fully understand Who He is with our finite minds so rejecting Him won’t get you anywhere worthwhile.  The answer to our questions, our unmet needs in life is belief.

Because we are finite, we must place our belief in that which is infinite:  true yesterday, today and tomorrow.  The only entity that is infinite is God.  He never changes.  He is perfect, all-knowing and we are not.  We can reach out to Him in with our tears, know that He cares (Psalm 139:17-18), know that He has our back (Jeremiah 29:11), and live on with hope for tomorrow amidst our trials, our heartache.  It follows then that our victory over the heartaches of this life is in Christ alone:  the Son of God.  Jesus Christ, manifest in His Word (the Bible), reflected in His creation, and felt through the longing inside our hearts, is not bound by our limited view of the world.  Jesus transcended this life when He died on the cross and rose from the dead.  Jesus Christ will “carry” each of us through the mysteries of life to a better place when we place our trust in Him (John 3:16).

Our Lord Jesus Christ made the difference for me and Steve last night and a hundred other horrible nights.  Jesus Christ will make the difference for you too in everything, Gentle Reader, whether you choose to believe in Him now or at another time.  But why wait?  Why not enjoy His transcendent peace, love, joy, hope, and more right now?

For the believer in Jesus Christ, it doesn’t really matter for our future, what is going on around us in the world right now.  We will live infinitely longer in heaven with God than the time it takes to complain about a Supreme Court decision.  Join me in doing what we can to love people, all people.  Reaffirm in our minds that we ultimately place our trust in only one place:  the Person of Jesus Christ.  He is the One Who matters most.  He is the One who will carry us from here into our blessed eternity with Him.  And that is a celebration worth waiting talking about!

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  (Jude 17-21)

The Lord is the one who carries me for sure.  What do you say we go together?

With love, JJ

A Pig for Sale

Only in Indiana.  Or maybe in any other State with farming.  Well that would include all 50 States.  I guess it’s just new to me . . .

The Facebook page for selling stuff in my town had a posting for a pig for sale:  $300 for the live beast.  I actually thought about it for a moment!  The biggest issue would be finding a place to store all of that meat.  Our lil’ freezer just ain’t big enough for my hubby’s ice cream and my bone broth in addition to a virtual bevvy of pork!  Darn.  I’ve been missing BBQ ribs for some time now!

I suppose that someone else with a chest or upright freezer will jump on the offer.  Maybe our neighbor who bought our used freezer will find it in her budget to feast on Porky Pig for the rest of the year?  Or maybe not.  But if she invites us over for some Famous Dave-style ribs I am sure that we would oblige!  We will even bring my Grandma’s famous potato salad.  Yeah I won’t forget the horseradish, pickle relish, and bacon grease (aka “secret ingredients”)!

Porky Pig here.

Porky Pig here.

We live in a time where you can buy and sell just about anything.  With the diversity of our world and our accessibility to most of it via the internet, we can get much of what we want for a price.  Do you want someone to paint your business logo on his hairy belly and sing a song for you?  Just check out the gigs on http://www.fiverr.com and it will be yours for the price of a latte’.  My preference for that one would be “NOPE.”  That is, in the physical realm.  There are other realms for which I would need a song you know.  And tonight my heart realm can’t buy me even a lullaby for peace of mind.  My heart is breaking and there simply is not much I can do about it but pray.

My brother, Mike, whom everyone else calls Michael, continues to live in a wretched inner city nursing home after a serious stroke.  He is four months post-CVA and three months enduring the “3 hots and a cot” provided by a one-star facility.  I flipped when I found out that he had an infectious rash on his hemiplegic hand!  I asked his fiancé and Mike to check for signs of bed bugs and call the State Ombudsman immediately if they found any signs of them.  Mike’s roommate itches too.  Hopefully it will be a case of an allergic reaction to the laundry detergent.  But why would the bumps become infected?  Good golly.  Water (no juice, milk, or coffee) for breakfast, a delayed response for significantly elevated blood pressure, and no follow-up whatsoever on a 6 cm kidney tumor ARE ONLY THE FIRST THREE items in the long list of substandard care complaints.  So sad.

Lisa, Mike’s precious fiancé, is at her wit’s end trying to get Veteran’s Administration or Medicaid benefits processed correctly to change his situation.  She faithfully visits him when she can, brings him home-cooked food, and follows up the paperwork nightmare as Mike’s legal guardian.  Just when I wonder if things moving forward fast enough or why she hasn’t returned my phone calls I find out that she has started a new job to try an better their overall situation.  She is such a trooper.  Thank the Lord for Lisa’s love and care for her Michael.  And our cousin, Lisa, helps out where she can as well.  Cousin Lisa is an optometrist for the nursing home and has more than once been able to positively influence his care by her presence, her visiting, her dipomacy, her support of fiancé Lisa.  They are doing the best they can and that is both a gift and all I can ask from 200 miles away.

This is such a curious situation, you know.  I am an occupational therapist with over 30 years of professional experience including patients with the very same medical condition as my brother.  Yet due to a severe illness I am enduring, I cannot even visit him!  The dirty conditions of his living environment would surely trigger seizure-like attacks for me.  Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or whatever you want to call this nightmare is keeping me from seeing my brother.  And this is the Lord’s plan for both of us right now.  I don’t understand it.  My heart is hurting.  I would be honored to work more closely with Mike, even provide supplemental therapy or visits.  I cannot do it right now.  Oh sure, I send him something in the mail occasionally or make a phone call to his facility and get placed on hold for a very, very long time before actually getting through to anyone less than 50% of the time.  We are all doing what we can and waiting on the Lord.  It’s just so very frustrating for each of us!

So if you’ve got an extra 300 bucks to donate to our cause, kindly send it to St. F—— Nursing Center in D—–, room 207.  Leave the pig and get my brother out of there please!  They might not notice Mike missing for awhile since a piece of meat is a piece of meat when you don’t care much for the sweet sense of humor that used to characterize my tall lanky sibling.  Oh geez, I’m getting a little upset here aren’t I?  Well at least the pig will stomach the food a little better without complaining.  Like the Cheerio’s commercial said many decades ago, “he’ll eat anything!  Hey Mikey!”  Yeah but it won’t be Mikey.  One day Mikey will be gone from the place he and his fiancé are calling, “the dump.”  May the Lord pour out His grace on those left behind when he does go.

I just hope that moving day will be soon.  O.k.  I’m done venting.  Gotta get back to praying.  JJ

sad pig

Missin’ Mike and Good News Too

There is good news to report:  my brother will be moving into a better rehabilitation facility soon!  His fiancé is now his legal guardian and has received preliminary acceptance of his admission into the rehab. unit of a skilled nursing facility close to their home in Port Huron, Michigan.  Michael’s Medicaid is now approved which makes this transfer possible.  Lord willing he will be there within a week.

My heart is breaking that I have not been able to see him since our initial visit to him at St. Johns Hospital April 15th.  St. Johns dumped him into an inner city nursing home when a place became available who would accept someone with “Medicaid pending.”  The social workers claimed that they contacted 35 facilities before St. Francis accepted him.  While we are grateful that this search for a place ended up extending his inpatient rehabilitation 10 more days, the place he got transferred to isn’t much more than “3 hots and a cot.”  Oh I guess they give him his medication too and an occasional bed bath.  Not much for a 53 year old man who has just suffered a severe stroke and needs considerably more care.

I am sad that there has been no follow up on his medical needs after the initial physician visit.  (He has a tumor on a kidney that was to be scheduled for biopsy but nothing has happened.)  The staff at St. Francis has lost or been unable to locate most of his clothing.  Michael sits in a “geri chair” for much of the day which is a large vinyl recliner chair:  completely dependent upon others to be moved out of his room, into the dining room, or possibly into the T.V. room.  I understand that the building is very old with stained walls, stench of incontinent residents, and constant sounds of demented residents or staff milling about.  Michael has gotten weaker from inactivity.  His weight continues to be down even with the meals and treats brought to him by his fiancé and our cousin, Lisa.  Lisa is an optometrist on staff with the facility but that has made little difference in meeting Michael’s care needs.  Lisa witnessed a nurse writing her requests in the nursing 24-hour care log.  Nothing happened:  1) he continues to crave cigarettes whereas a nicotine patch would ease his chemical dependency and 2) he never got the wheelchair promised upon admission and supposedly recommended by the physical therapist.  I am convinced that the poor, sack-of-potatoes positioning in the recliner chair has contributed to his worsening left shoulder pain.  Such is life post stroke with left hemiplegia and no rehabilitative care.

In the meantime Sister Bear has secured a television/DVD player, wheelchair, walker, and bedside commode for him.  However with the lack of security for his personal items and transportation issues getting the items to him from their respective locations (wheelchair and commode in Mt. Clemens, walker in Adrian, and T.V. here with me in Indiana) everything is on hold until he moves into a better place.  Lord willing everything will move forward soon as various family members have offered assistance to get these items to him and his fiancé (also named Lisa!).  Lord willing I will be able to visit him at Marwood in Port Huron in about 2 weeks.  Surely my serious respiratory infection will be resolved by then and travel arrangements will come together; the seizure attacks have lessened some as well, gratefully.  I would have never tolerated visiting Mike at St. Francis due to the extremely high potential risk of environmental triggers for seizures.  Even the outdoor patio would have been an impossible place to visit coupled with the resident smokers.  Knowing all of this contributed to my heartbreak of late.  There was nothing I could do but keep in touch with everyone, secure the equipment, pray, and wait.

So I wonder what it has been like for Mike to be so debilitated, alone except for some weekly visits, in a dumpy and dirty living environment?  I understand that he had his Bibles brought to him and pictures taped to the wall next to his bed.  His fiancé Lisa says that he was trying to do his exercises on his own as best as he could.  Without being able to get up and bear weight on his left arm or leg, however, the benefits of exercise would be limited.  The risk for complications has been elevated with some realized as ongoing pain and weakening instead of continued progress.  He was too debilitated to return home from St. Johns Hospital without 24-hour physical assistance and considerable accessibility modifications.  Hopefully he will be more mobile and independent when it’s time to leave Marwood and go home.  In the meantime he has had a lot of time to think about many things.  I hope he reached out to the Lord, the person of Jesus Christ, in his time of need.  I hope he will find some purpose, some meaning for this desolate oasis of time.

Most communication between us has been cut off since Mike arrived at St. Francis due to the sorry state of their phone system.  (No surprise that the place is rated one out of five stars.)  After getting through to talk to him on his first day there, the facility phone was always busy when I called.  Twice I happened to call when his fiancé Lisa was visiting so I could hear his voice for a few moments.  The last time there were so many loud voices and screaming in the background that the words were tough to hear.  I can picture the scene in that place very easily.  I worked in all types of care centers from the inner city to private pay life care communities as an occupational therapist.  Many times I completed those wheelchair screening assessments and crawled around dirty, stuffed storage rooms and sheds until I could find a wheelchair with matching parts for a new resident.  Oh well.  When you don’t have insurance you get what you get.  I guess that Mike was actually fortunate to not be dumped in a homeless shelter.  At least there were security fences around the building and a guard at the front door.  The boarded up homes across the street were intimidating to fiancé and cousin Lisa yet they visited anyways.  I sure wish I could have gone to see him too.  I miss my brother.

I look forward to seeing Mike and holding him for a long time when I do.  There is much sadness for all that he has lost.  There is also much anticipation for all that the Lord has in store for him and his fiancé Lisa too.  I believe that the Lord has His hand on him in that Mike’s life was spared.  Just under half of all persons who experience a cerebral vascular accident don’t survive.  Mike’s cognitive abilities and ability to communicate have been spared.  His ability to swallow foods from a regular diet was quickly restored.  In my clinical experience these rarely happen in a person with severe left hemiplegia.  We are all hopeful that his ability to function will improve over time as well.  The rule of thumb is that the most rapid recovery occurs within the first 3-6 months post stroke.  He is six weeks out from his onset date of April 13th and continues to feel new sensations in his affected arm and leg.  And now his next phase of rehabilitation is about to begin bringing new hope for more return of function.  This time I’ll bet at least a quarter that Mike will be very motivated for physical, occupational, and speech therapy!  That will be very good to see indeed.

Until then, please join me in praying for Mike and his fiancé Lisa.  Lisa has a teenage son, Alex, who loves Mike and hasn’t seen him since April.  There’s a golden retriever named Garfield who misses him too.  The new place is closer to their home so I hope all of them will get together sometime soon; even dogs are allowed to visit at Marwood!  Oh I am grateful for such blessings.  Yes, there is good news this day with the promise of even more to come.  Thank you Jesus for your enduring grace and mercy.  Go before us, strengthen our faith, bring healing to our dear Michael for your glory Lord.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Michael George Lech

Michael George Lech

 

The Sister Bear Speaks

While my brother’s fiancé is there at the hospital with him in the thick of things, his next of kin is a bit upset.  I am too upset to make any rational decisions.  The feelings run deep with me.  It’s all I could do to be polite on the phone today to the social worker from the rehabilitation unit where Mike is hospitalized.  At least Steve and I have the weekend to sort things out . . .

Very likely Mike will get booted out of the hospital next week and sent to be housed in a nursing home without additional rehabilitation services.  His insurance is “Medicaid Pending” and his requiring of 24-hour physical care post discharge, a situation that cannot be met at home for valid reasons, is pushing the hospital to discharge him from their care.  I don’t get it.  In my 30+ year career in rehabilitation as an occupational therapist, the discharge criteria virtually always hinged on a lack of progress, not the particulars of discharge planning.  It’s a new day:  a new reality.  If you can’t do what the government-driven healthcare system wants you to do then I guess they can wash their hands of you.

Perhaps he will go to a nursing home or perhaps by some miracle the Veterans Administration (VA) will accept him on such short notice.  If the decision is the former, he will be fed 3 meals per day, kept clean and dry, and left to sit slumped in an overstretched wheelchair or geri chair in front of an out-of-tune entertainer from the long term care circuit with a pair of maracas shoved into his functional hand.  The wailing of the demented residents will woo him to sleep at night as he tosses on his waterproof mattress to get comfortable around the bedsores that no one will find until it is too late for healing.  Thickened Pepsi to drink?  Not a chance.  At least until his fiancé cleans up her make-up from crying long enough to ignore the swale of urine stench long enough to bring it to him.  God bless her faithfulness visiting every day through this incredibly stressful ordeal!

Or perhaps it won’t be that bad.  Maybe he will get into a VA rehabilitation facility with little red tape and get stronger.  Regardless, the hope of at least a few weeks of physical, occupational, and speech therapy has vanished for the time-being.  And Michael has no idea yet, what is about to happen to him next week.  I left a message for his saint of a fiancé and she has not gotten back to me yet.  Maybe she is in as big of SHOCK as I am.  Maybe she is exhausted and horrified from touring nursing homes closer to where they lived in the “thumb” area of Michigan.  I don’t blame her for taking a little time for herself to sort things out.  My heart goes out to Lisa.  She has been through so much these past two weeks as her life has changed forever.

As for me, 200 miles to the south and struggling with four hours of seizure attacks multiple times per day, I am overwhelmed with the stress of it all.  Just seeing the missing flooring in our bathroom from yet another mold remediation project is enough to stub my toe even when the light is on.  Somehow I completed a few errands outside the home this afternoon and made a simple dinner.  I talked to a few family members who offered mixed consolation while I was stepping on the elliptical for 20 minutes, phone in hand.  Geez!  I haven’t used that thing in a few weeks!  I must be stressed out.  Thank goodness the nightly seizure attack episodes haven’t fully ramped up yet tonight:  I needed to talk to you, Gentle Reader!  I started to type and there you were.  Thanks so much for being here.  I can barely speak I am so very upset.

*********************

Life goes on despite the drama of the moment.  If Steve and I don’t impulsively drive 3 hours north to go to the hospital tomorrow and I’m stable enough, we will attend the 50th wedding anniversary open house of some friends.  It will be good to enjoy some Christian fellowship.  Then maybe my beloved Steve will start to work on the bathroom floor tile project and I’ll put together the jewelry orders that have been sitting at my work table this past week.  Lord willing I’ll continue with the Spring clean-up of our gardens and Steve will mow the grass for the first time this year.  Looks like the narcissus will be blooming within a day or two with their yellow-throated happy faces reaching up to soak up the sun.  The sunshine will feel good on my broken frame as well and I will enjoy the freshness of the air this time of year.  There’s no better hue of green than that of the tender leaves emerging from their Winter slumber:  truly lime, truly sublime too.  Some call it “horticulture therapy.”  Gee, maybe I should go right now poke my finger in the dirt of the violets waiting to fill the self-watering planters I thought I might plant tomorrow . . . I need a fix of something and a shot of tequila is out of the question these days . . .

*********************

Please pray for us.  This sister bear is hurting more for her brother than anything right now.  My beloved Steve has been so loving despite the challenges of my illness, demands of his work, and his other responsibilities.  Lisa has got to be struggling as well, balancing work, the care of her teenage son (Alex), and assuming increasing responsibility for Michael’s affairs.  She and Michael have known each other almost 7 years.  Her 13 year old son has a great relationship with Michael too.  Oh Lord, hold us all closely this night.  Help us.  Show us Your love, mercy, and grace.  Guide us with wisdom.  If it is Your will, heal my brother from the effects of this devastating stroke.  Comfort him as he realizes all that has happened to him and show him hope, be real for him on his bed of sickness.  He has reached out to you in his time of need.  I am grateful for this and grateful that you are here with us.  And thank you for the encouragement we find in Your Word:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  (2 Corinthians 4)

In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Michael George Lech

Michael George Lech