A few days before writing this letter I fell off my garage roof. I was going to put back a slipped tile but I badly misjudged things and came down to earth rather painfully. I now have several broken ribs and some uncomfortable weeks ahead. As you can imagine I’ve thought a lot about all that happened. Here’s just a few of my thoughts:
I am foolish and make wrong choices. And if that’s true for my plan to fix the tile it is true in a hundred other ways in my life. Not all of my mistakes have such sudden painful consequences but the results may be deeper.
My foolishness hurts others. It brings tears to my eyes now to remember how I lay on the stretcher listening to the paramedic leave a message on my wife’s voicemail, knowing how awful it would be for her to get that message.
How amazing our First Responders are. I was on my own when I fell and could only make it as far as the phone. It was such a relief when help arrived and if David was annoyed at me for having interrupted his decorating he certainly didn’t show it. Thank you!
Suffering is real. I spent 3 days in a hospital ward full of badly injured men. The Bible tells me to expect such places in our world – our collective rebellion against our loving creator means that suffering is never far away – but to see it close up is desperately sad. There were a few like me who were recovering well but others who will always have to live with their injuries. For some their physical injuries were nothing compared to everything else they faced in their lives: fractured relationships or suicidal depression.
Thank Jesus for hospitals. They are remarkable places staffed by people who are caring, competent and resilient. Thank you! I don’t mean that the staff would all say that they do what they do because of Jesus, but when you think about the cultures in our world’s history where compassionate medical care flourished, and think about who influenced those cultures, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion: Trace the lines back from today’s desire and ability to heal people; so many of them go to the one who went around “healing every kind of disease and sickness”.