Shrunken World


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Providence Medical Center, my home for nine days

October 4, 2016

Earlier last month my world dissolved to a pinpoint – a small green room. Noise and motion were unabated, but I wasn’t in the vortex. It was out there. Somewhere. Distant. It mattered little. Things that just hours before clamored for the top of the list faded into back burner status.

What is my temperature? How is my heart? What’s happening with my highly elevated creatinine levels? You have a test tomorrow. You cannot eat until then. It’s time for another blood draw.

All was focused on what was going on in my body. Plans and lists of things to do idled, waiting for the first glimmer of attention. For three days they did not even trouble my mind. My body said “sleep sleep sleep”. I did.

What changed? Had important things become unimportant? What was important instead?

Relationships. Prayers. Words of Scripture. So timely. Deep encouragements from people around the country. The near presence of the Spirit of God.

The window beckoned. Cars continued their incessant agitated flow. Places to go. Things to do. People to see. And here I lie. Hour upon hour. Day upon day. No matter things on my calendar insisted on their importance. They were going to be ignored for a while.

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Arthaey Angosii on Flickr 

Surprisingly, in my absence, the world did not collapse. Life went on. And on the sideline, my sense of the presence of God got richer – deeper.

This is something I should already know. This is how I should always live. Why does it take serious illness or lowered available funds to make it real to me? Why do I think I am so significant? What causes me to believe that the actions I want to take must happen to avoid detrimental result?

Never have I felt so weak, unable, helpless and puny. And yet, it was a good place. Somehow the truth is real that in our weakness His strength is perfected. I am still a beginner in understanding that.

I hope I never again am so weak as I was on Monday, the 12th of September. Yet, one day it will come. I have learned in a new way how tentative is the separation between life and death. We are fragile beings. More assuredly I realize I am sustained by a power outside myself.

One little change is all it takes. Everything is dangerous. All could be lost in a blink. We are complex beings who most of the time do not realize how very close to the edge we are. How everything has to sync and be online for us to keep breathing.

If we think “we can handle it”, there is a major reckoning in our future. I can handle nothing. I am here by the grace of God. There is so little power in my own hand and mind.

Maybe this is part of the reason God majors on humility in His Word.

Humility is the only reasonable attitude available to me.

Pride is downright laughable.

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3 thoughts on “Shrunken World

  1. Such an amazing reflection, Ken. Thoughts that we have had, but have been unable to articulate. Praying for you and your beautiful wife during this time. Thank you for helping us all with perspective. We are praising Him with you for His care and presence.

  2. Pingback: Numbering Your Days – MATTERS of WORLDVIEW

  3. Pingback: Darkness and Joy – MATTERS of WORLDVIEW

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