Monday, September 8, 2008

Hurting and Healing

When I was young I witnessed my father being carried out of his office and taken to the hospital. After weeks of testing and bed rest that followed he was declared 100% permanently disabled. His heart was permanently damaged. Any strenuous exercise or effort could kill him. My relatives told me I was the man of the house now and had to man up. Odd, they did not offer me any keys to the car, cash or credit cards to assist in my right of passage and new responsibilities as man of the house. I was 11. Life indeed changed. My father was an active man in spirit and ministry and his weak heart did not slow his active brain one bit. I became his hands and feet. I spent most every weekend and holiday building something for the church or Youth For Christ. It included running spot lights, sound equipment, being the head stage hand for monthly rallies, building a full softball field including underground sprinklers and electrical for the lighting. I learned to wire sport lights strapped to the top of 60’ poles in a 45 mph cross wind. I walked the trusses 30’above the stage at the fair grounds because I was the only one light enough to do it. I did the electrical and sound wiring under the platform at the church because I was the only one small enough to fit. By my early teens, my friends knew to avoid me on holidays because my dad would rope them into some building project too. By the time I was 15 my sister went off to college and my mother had back surgery and did a long stint in bed. Now I had charge of the ministry work, the house work and the cooking. I got to be the lady of the house for a while too. Internal pressures were building in me to the point I was seeing my father’s heart specialist for pre ulcer conditions. He really didn’t do much for me. Don’t misunderstand here, my folks were great parents, strict but loving. We worked well together but resentment was building in me. As much as I did not like being the hands, feet and back of my parents, I knew they absolutely hated it. It was far harder on them than it ever could be on me. I could walk away, get relief, go hang out. They were being held prisoner by their own failing bodies. Minds and spirit as sharp as ever with no way to physically do much of anything. They could no more control what their bodies were doing than I could control the growing ulcers inside of me. If something in me did not change one of two things was destined to happen and there was nothing I could do about it. My ulcers would overtake me completely and incapacitate me or my growing anger would come out in some rebellious stupidity. My father saw it coming. I NEVER did anything overt, he just knew and I know it was killing him faster than his heart. My grandparents saw it to. They Prayed. What do you do when you are 15 and in a situation that is impossible to do anything about? The fact is I did not do anything. God did. God healed my heart in an instant, a moment. Here’s the rest of the story…My dad did everything he could do to try to ease my burden. Although he could not participate he would go and watch. It was a small town and I was a starter on the high school football team. They all knew dad and he was allowed to pull his car onto the field behind the end zone to watch the game whenever his health allowed. Chic Hearn, the voice of the LA Lakers presented me an award at the players banquet at the end of the season. Dad missed it, he was at home in bed. Like I said, he did what he could and often more than he should. I was not angry with him (well, ok sometimes he was unreasonable, really) I was sick of the situation. One afternoon Dad took me about 20 miles from the house to go quail hunting. No way could he climb he hills so he just sat in the car. I wandered over hill and dale for a while and approached dad’s position from a ridge behind and above him. He was sitting on a log drawing with a stick in the sand, no doubt designing his next project for me to do. I sat down and just watched him for a while and it happened. God did what only God can do in the way only God can do it. While I was sitting there on their on that hill, He reached into my heart and spoke to soul and everything was ok. The anger, anxiety, resentment and frustration was drained from my body. It literally did not hurt anymore. It would seem God does some of His best work on a hill. God released me from my fathers and mothers infirmities. I can’t explain how, I just know he did. It was as real for me as Moses telling the people waiting to cross the red sea “Be still and see the salvation of the Lord”. Some things in life are just to big, to permanent, to overwhelming to handle on our own. If God can heal a broken teenager who did not know God could or would do that and did not ask for God to do it, What does God want to heal for you?


jolleyzoo said...

Wow, I could say so much on this topic, but I am just gonna jump to "The Shack", pages 164-165.
See I have been doing my reading and studing, even if I have to do it all alone here in east Mesa.(j/k):)
Crazy how just when we least except it, HE flickers the lights and we feel safe and comforted.

Doni Brinkman said...

Uh oh. She is actually quoting pages numbers now. ;)

Love when God just shows up and heals in an instant.

Don Z said...

Susie, you don't have to say anything. You live and love loud. My story is ok for a blog, yours is recounted by the angels in heaven before the throne...and Papa is praised! Amen