October 11, 2016 by James Lindquist
I just recently returned from the surgeon’s appointment and the news was not good. He told me “There is nothing I can do for you.” Obviously, I was devastated. Just like my dad, I’d always been the bull, the strong one, and was very athletic. In all my life long scraps, I’d only lost to one man, a seasoned colored fighter in the ring. I was 15 and he was 17, but I was used to beating men 3-5 years my senior.
Anyway, after I’d knocked him across the ring and onto his back (to put it politely), it must have ticked him off because he got back up and preceded to TKO me. He was a better man than I was that night and I was OK with that. The only thing I was not OK with is he beat me in front of my dad. I was a very long time in getting over that. But this isn’t the point of my blog.
Like Monk used to say, “Here’s the thing. . .” Here I am 58 years later and I’ve concluded that the older you get, the more your parts start wearing out. A person knows that that day is coming but it’s still a shock when it begins to happen. However, age and my athleticism finally caught up with me in the form of arthritis – bad. It is throughout my entire body.
Due to a recent and severe fall, both of my knees are no good, which makes going down stairs very difficult. This is exacerbated by my arthritis. Because of a trip to the Bahamas and sunburn, I developed Venous Insufficiency coupled with Stasis Dermatitis. This is an issue where the veins have a problem sending blood back to the heart. (Bad circulation in the legs – bad circulation in the heart. Oops, flag!)
Now the biggy. Because of the VISD, I have P.A.T. (Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia), which is just an irregular heart beat and as long as I take my meds, I’m golden. Oh, did I forget to mention that my memory is fading quickly :-).
Now, I can’t even raise my right arm more than 5in in front of me AT ALL. I can’t even man up and go an inch extra daily. I have a high tolerance to pain and sometimes the pain puts me in the rafters and they’re telling me that there’s nothing they can do for me. Great!
Due to a lifting accident (and my age with NO shoulder muscle, which I also forgot to mention LOL), I severely tore my rotator cuff. Now I don’t mind losing to a better man than I am at any given time, but to lose to the enemy and life, that’s another thing. But this still isn’t the point of my blog. Thank you Jesus.
How many times have we grumbled before going to Christ first? As we open up to Christ, He will put His thoughts into our minds. We go through many stresses during our day and unless we make Jesus a part of our lives and daily conversations, even in the small things, it can turn to self-pity and rage. This opens the door for the enemy to come in and steal our joy.
v10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: [John 10:10a KJV]
Last night I watched a DVD that has prompted me to interject this extra blog. The title was “Me Before You.” The movie started with showing a virile young athletic man doing many things, skiing, surfing, and excelling in different sports. Then life put him on hold when a motorcycle hits him while he walked across the street. And here is the point of my blog.
Months later, a young woman needed a job and found a job as a caretaker. She arrived at the residence to find this young man in a wheel chair. Of course, they fall in love but he wants to commit suicide because of the emotional and physical pain he has to endure especially in loving her. What a frustrating time it must have been for him to kiss the woman he loved and not be able to fulfill that love for her, EVER. Not to be able to caress her, feel her close to him, and to consummate their feelings and love to each other. It must have been very painful for him.
I can’t fathom the idea of what this man went through as a paraplegic, being dead from the neck down and having to have someone totally take care of him 24/7/365: the washing, feeding, wiping, grooming, transporting, putting him to bed, and getting him up again. Taking care of his bathroom needs, and all the other things that we, as normal and fully functional human-beings, take for granted and can do. And here I was wrapped in self-pity worrying about whether I was even a man or not and if any woman would ever want me.
I can still walk, although not very good, I can still write (my passion and mandate from God), and I’m learning to do most everything with my left hand like comb my hair, brush my teeth, shave, and all the simple tasks that we take for granted. I’ve got my left hand and arm that I can fully use to lift my right arm for different tasks, like lifting my right hand across this paper to finish the end of this sentence. I can still dress myself, groom myself, drive, and many other things, although pulling on my socks and tying my shoes is painful. I can, and will, buy some slip-ons. Problem solved.
I am so-o-o sorry Lord for my grumbling and thank you for reminding me of the second stanza of John 10:10, which says, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Lord, because of you, I have life and life more abundantly. It is well with my soul Father. Please forgive me. The enemy will NOT steal my joy. I am a good man, although limited, and worth having if anything by you Lord.
My heart goes out to those who can’t even do what I can do. To them, I can do allot. My Earthly father said once to me and I have never forgotten. He said, “No matter how bad-off you think you are, there is ALWAYS someone a little worse off.” My dad should have written a book on his wisdom.
Thank you Jesus for helping me to see this issue through a simple movie and I repent.