Chicago Sun-Times
...with Jesus, doctors and common sense

August 2010 Archives

God Bless you.
I don't deserve your heart.
I need it desperately and, thanks to the Mayo Clinic, I am on the national list for a heart transplant.
Doctors say my best chance for long-term survival from my end-stage congestive heart failure is a new heart.
Naturally, I want to live just like any other normal person. I like life. And, most times, life appears to like me. We get alone pretty well.
I love praising God, preaching His word, helping to save sinners, listening to religion music and seeing endearing religious movies.
I love breathing in and out. I love walking and talking. I love loving and being loved. I love being able to feel things, both pain and pleasure. I love being able to smell wonderful fragrances. I love the sight of beautiful things. I love the sound of wonderful music--especially classical music.
I love the cuisines of the world. I am at home with chicken tikii massala from India, enchiladas from Mexico, shrimp and vegetable tempura from Japan, almost anything Chinese. I love pasta, soul food and, really at least one plate from just about every major culture under the sun.
Obviously, because one must be alive to enjoy these things, I thus love living.
But in order for me to enjoy much more of this, baring any non-heart tragedy, I need a heart. It would be nice if medical science had progressed to the point where an affordable, efficient, durable, reliable, mechanical heart had been perfected and could supply every patient who needed a new heart.
But until that day comes, and I pray it comes soon, real soon, I need a human heart.
I can't be choosy about whose heart I get. I can't demand that that heart come from a black man, a white man, a woman, a man, boy, girl, American, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Russian, Greek, Democrat, Republican, Baptist, Catholic, Jew, Hindu, atheist or whoever, wherever, whenever and however.
In other words, that heart, given the wrong and right circumstance, could come from you. And I feel very, very guilty about that because I don't deserve your heart. I really don't. God gave you a heart and God gave me a heart and God gave every human being a heart. And it's not your fault or anybody else's fault that heart has given out and become so severely damaged that it needs to be replaced.
But God also has blessed us, and our medical scientists, to be able to transfer a beating heart from a dying or dead host to a living one to save the new host's life
What obviously bugs me first and foremost, is the raw reality ithat if I am to get a human heart, then a human being will have to die. And I can't get next to that. I don't deserve your heart. If something unfortunate took my life and my heart could save your, I'd welcome that. But my heart is not the kind of heart that is eligible to be transplant into somebody else. It's not even operating on its own any longer. An implanted heart pump is doing the pumping necessary to keep me alive.
I don't deserve your heart.
I don't deserve it.
I don't deserve your heart or anybody else's heart.
I haven't earned it.
I couldn't pay for it.
I could never work hard enough and long enough to get enough money to even make a poor down payment on a down payment to even touch your most precious heart.
But this is what modern life has become. This is where modern science has brought us. We can now swap kidneys, lungs, livers, eyes, noses, ears and so many other body parts.
So I thank God that you and I are living in this brave, new age. And when I study this issue deeply, it is simply a translation of the miracle of spiritual salvation that Jesus has made possible.
After all, Jesus came to give His life so that you and I might have life and that more abundant.
Jesus came to bleed in our place. He came to be wounded and bruised for us. He came to be humiliated for us.
Jesus came to take the wrap for all out sins, all our crimes, all our misdeeds, all my weaknesses, all our errors, all our evils, all our inadequacies and whatever else separates us from moral perfection and eternal life.
Jesus came, suffered, bled and died and then arose from the grave on Easter Sunday with all power given unto Him in heaven and in earth so that if , in due season, you and I die before the rapture we , shall live again and again and again forever and ever and ever and evermore.
If I get this heart, I am somewhat relieved that I am not robbing anybody. If I get that heart that I need to save my life, I will actually be getting that heart from the Lord, the Supreme Maker and Keeper of all hearts.
If may come OUT of the body of another human being. But it will come FROM Lord.
That's why ,from henceforth and forevermore, children, I will continue to lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. And in case anybody just tuned in, my help cometh from the Lord.
Just like every breath I breathe cometh, every sunrise cometh, every sunset cometh, every article of clothing cometh, every crumb for bread cometh, every drink of water cometh, whatever I need to make it from Point A to Point B, it cometh from the Lord of hosts.
Praise the Lord!!!
Thank you Jesus!!!!!
God bless you.

I thank the Lord that today (Aug. 11) I turn 67 years old. Please, no candles and cake. Never had a real birthday party so far and don't expect to ever have one.
Meantime, my, my, my: Where have all those years gone?
I'm in a better situation this time than I was last year when I spent my 66th birthday in the University of Chicago Medical Center as part of a week's stay after I had undergone an Aug. 10 operation on my back. I survived the operation. So did the painful symptoms that drove me to get the operation. In essence, it was a dangerous waste of time.
Today, however, I still assorted serious health problems. But I feel relatively good and plan to spend the day at home with my wife, Joyce, who is in her first full week of retirement.
I'm happy to be saved, happy to be alive, happy to be loved and to love back, happy for my family and friends, happy for my job and happy to be feeling better as I am living a tethered life powered by a heart pump while awaiting my new heart. But health problems are the least of my concern right now. And that's a blessing in itself.
Serious pension problems assure that this will not be a happy birthday for me as I approach retirement of my 45-year reporting career at the end of this year. Getting my full pension up front is extremely valuable for me because of my serious health issues, my advancing age, which limits further employment opportunities, and because, since undergoing a triple bypass operation in 2001, no insurance company will offer me significant new coverage
With my end-staged congestive heart failure and prostate cancer, I am told that the odds are small that I will live much longer unless I receive a new heart, unless my body doesn't reject the new heart and unless the immuno-suppressant drugs don't reverse the regression of my prostate cancer.
I thank God that I have been able to work as a professional writer for 45 years and have qualified for a pension, social security and Medicare. But having a $72,000 bite taken from my pension after it had been promised is no happy springboard toward living on a fixed income threatened by exorbitant medical bills.
So I worry. I struggle to retrieve the pension first promised me. Friends promise to help me with valuable information before reneging on the promises. Lawyers appear stagnant in aggressively defending me.
These are serious problems with me. But I am consoled by the realization that as bad as things are they could be a whole lot worse. What if I had been working for crooked corporations like Enron and Worldcom or others for some 40 years only to see dishonest executives mismanage the company into financial ruin that cost thousands of its employees their jobs, their pensions, their 401Ks, their life and health insurance?
What if I was entering my second or third year of unemployment as many of you are and had fallen beyond the reach of unemployment benefits?
What if that brain tumor of mine had turned out to be malignant?
What if my prostate cancer was discovered and treated too late to save me?
What if that mini-stroke I suffered last December had been a major one that left me severely and permanently paralyzed?
What if I had seen a child of mine fatally gunned down in the streets of Chicago or in the home as many parents have done?
Yes, I can go on and on thinking about worst things that could have befallen me. But they didn't. And I thank God for that.
I thank God for good, competent doctors and surgeons. Poor medical care helped send my mother (42) and father (64) to relatively early graves.
I thank God for loving relatives and faithful friends.
I thank God for the honest politicians who are still trying to provide competive, constructive and productive leadership.
I even thank God for my enemies and the way they often force me to fall down on my knees and pray when I otherwise wouldn't.
I thank God for the courtesy and kindness of strangers.
But most of all, I thank God for my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I thank God for my salvation.
I thank God for the gift to love others and be loved by them in return.
I thank God for the faith that Jesus authored and finished so that I can move mountains and do all things through Christ Jesus.
I thank God for my predestined, pro-congenital calling to preach His Word.
I thank God for wisdom and intelligence.
I thank God for the integrity, brotherhood, compassion, Christian faith and other love-based faiths and religions that are still alive in an America that is being destroyed by greed, hate and dishonesty from within without . This has triggered the downfall of so many other great empires.
Thank you all for your continued prayers, best wishes and birthday greetings.
God bless you all real, real good.

Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2010 is the previous archive.

September 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.