So much has been happening...
- I still have an IV drip for use in giving me one specific medication, but otherwise, everything else is by needle or directly into my feeding tube.
- I've had my sutures holding my tracheotomy fitting taken out and a new "cuffless"tracheotomy tube installed instead (very sporty with a soft collar holding it in place versus strings/stitches.
- I also am SO happy that my neck drain tube and collection bag has been removed. Sounds funny, but having my neck drain tube and my sutures trache tube sutures removed finally allow me to look up when giving and receiving hugs!
- I also was able to have a shower. A real shower! It took over 30-minutes to prep me with plastic bags and tape, but I was water-tight where I needed to be, allowing me actually shave and shower . That's huge for me.
- Dressing was permanently removed around my abdominal feeding tube hole, so I can shower.
- I get to wear underwear. Seriously. That's huge. I asked my daughter to bring them to me from the bag at my parent's hotel room. When she did, she had that look in her eye. I said, "Why did you bring my laptop case. She said, "It's a 'brief case." Get it?" Oh lord, my girls do have my sense of humor.
- The dressing on my forearm "donation site" was replaced and what I saw below stunned me. I won't make a juvenile comment about what the shape reminds me of (I kind of just did), but the shape reminds me of "life" and every time I look at that scar, I will realize it is indeed a symbol of life. I am alive. That alone is a temporary gift... which brings me to part of what has been on my mind...
Next, my sister, Lisa, and I, were having a discussion this morning about people that are dying in our lives. I don't really belive that I will die any time soon, mind you. I just don't stress about it. So many people are encourageing me saying that God wants me healed... I'm not sure why it matters. Imagine the Titanic. If the story was going to change a bit and we knew that there were no life boats and every single person was going to die, we could call that boat by a different name. It would be called "Life: instead. Will you be the one screaming as you fall from the railing or the violinist who calmly plays his violin, giving calming music of solace to those around him as the boat sinks slowly. Even Christians know that we will all die by the time we turn about 120-years old. We will die. Life is a death sentence. "God wants you healed"... I think we get too caught up in the staying alive part and forget that we will all die. These fleshly bodies aren't made for eternity. Our soul on the other hand, a few additional options. Set this thought aside for a moment as well.
The third thought for today is the idea of "doing what is right"... Funny what people get hung up on about what we should and shouldn't do to "be a good person" and to "not sin." When Jesus himself was asked what the "greatest commandment" in the Bible was, he skipped all of the "top ten" in the "Ten Commandments." You'd think that this man we Christian's claim to follow would want to follow a man that kept to the rules, right? Nope.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Here is the deal. First, if you want to be a "Christian" or just a "good person", doing so is not about loving ourselves, putting ourselves first or being a perfectionist. You won't be perfect. If all of your energies are wrapped up doing what is "right", you need to consider what that focus is... Second, life is short, and what we do on this earth needs to be done within a finite period of time, and Third, the most important things for us to do are not about us doing "good", but doing good and blessing others. Our neighbors. Showing unconditional love to the unlovely. Not just tossing a quarter to a homeless man, but stooping to learn his name and what makes him happy. Giving when nobody knows that you've given.
I've always wanted to set up an organization that had a group of secret donors who used a "man in black" to bless people in secret. If the person needing a blessing went in to pay their car repair bill, it would have been paid by the "man in black" earlier in the day, not leaving any clue as to whom was responsible for the blessing. What would happen? The person who was being blessed wouldn't just thank one person, but they would be thankful to everyone as to not miss out on being nice to the person who who blessed them. Cool, huh?
So... my assignment for you... if you want to be a blessing to me, I would love you to bless someone in secret. Find a need in your community, church, club, or a neighbor... find a way to fill that need in a way that nobody knows. Do it in secret. The blessings that come back to you will not be just to you, but to all of us.
I love you all. Even the ones I have yet to meet. Why? Because I'm a blessed man, and I love to love those around me, regardless of how big my "neighborhood" is.
PS... I made this video early this morning... I'm excited that I will one day truly talk again and let my words be an encouragement not just on your screen, but in your ear...