God bless you.
As I wait for my new heart, I am blessed to still be alive, blessed to not be
in ongoing pain and blessed to have competent, affordable, group-insured health
As a Christian and preacher, I am a man of faith. I believe in God and I trust
Him to continue healing me with or without the aid of modern medicine.
But as a formally-educated, veteran, newspaper reporter, I am also a man of
fact, a realist dedicated to doing his best and trusting God for the rest.
Whenever I got sick, I prayed. But I also sought help from doctors and also
used my common sense and took initiative to be an active participant in the
process of my recovery. I studied my illnesses, the medicines I was taking and their
side effects. I also got in closer tune with my body, listened to it and did what I
needed to do, as best I could, to help myself instead of calling the doctor every
time I didn't feel good.
It's alright to pray for God to feed you. But don't expect God to drop meat and
bread down from the sky into your lap or onto your dinner table without you
working to earn and acquire the money to buy food. And when you get the food,
you have to cook it, if necessary. Then you have to feed yourself or be fed by
body else to be nourished.
It's alright to pray to God for a job. But make an effort to prepare and look for
that job. Don't expect that job to look for you, make you accept it and force you to
come to work and perform.
It's alright to pray for God to heal you when you are sick. But I believe it is
foolish, cruel and even in-human for people to deny them or their loved ones life-
saving professional medical care under the excuse that all you have to do is pray
for it. Poor, innocent children have been tortured and murdered with that kind
of ignorance, arrogance and insensitivity. That's just the devil. I hate him.
My health challenges have been excruciating at times. I've already
undergone and survived three critical operations in nine years where doctors had
to saw my chest apart. I've been on life support four times. I've battled and still
am battling prostate cancer and a benign tumor on my brain. I've undergone
back surgery and hernia surgery. I've undergone life-saving defibrillation of my
But the fact I'm still here is really no credit to me. I thank and praise the
Lord for me coming this far by faith.
Needing a new heart and being on the Mayo Clinic's heart transplant list
means that my chest will have to be sawed apart at least a fourth time. It also
means that I will be on life-support again with a breathing tube jammed down
my throat. It also means I will have to have a lot of needles pushed into my
small veins, which nurses claim are too small. So they often have to stick me again
and again, claiming also that I have "rolling veins." That's not something I'll enjoy
But I want to live more. Don't you? And I don't believe I'm being greedy still
wanting to live at the age of 67. I love this thing of breathing in and out. I love
touching, feeling, tasting, thinking and hearing. For me, on the whole, life is good.
Nevertheless, I'm sure there's not many of you reading this blog who
would love to change your health for my health. A few of you, who are in pain
and have been told you are much closer to death, would gladly change. But the
great majority of you would not. And I'm very happy about that. I pray the best for
you all. I pray that you get better before I do and also better if I don't.
When my grandchildren were last brought to the hospital to see me while I
lay in a coma with that breathing tube coming out of my mouth, it scared them half
to death. And when I got well enough to come home, my youngest grandkids were
too scared to give me a hug or have me touch them. That hurt. Only after the older
ones, bless their little hearts, had touched me without being harmed did the
younger ones feel brave enough to do so, and even then reluctantly.
Now, I'm going to be honest with y'all. I feel my strength and courage
weakening a little because I am fighting other problems than health problems.
They are taking their toll. My humanity and mortality are being exposed to my utter
embarrassment and shame.
But, thank God, I know how to address that. I'm going to have to pray harder
and pray more to Him. I know that I have not been praying as hard as I should and
could. I need the Lord to increase my faith. If I don't have even a mustard seed-size
portion of faith, all the prayers in the world will avail little.
I preach to people again and again that it pays to serve Jesus and that they
should have faith in God for anything. I must do a better job of practicing what I
preach. Thanks for loaning me your shoulders to cry on a little bit. But I'll be alright
because I know the Lord is still in the prayer-hearing and prayer-answering
business. Otherwise, I would have been dead and gone long, long ago.
Yes, I'm presently getting a whipping. But I'm not whipped and, by God's grace
and mercy and my faith in Him, I won't be.
God bless you.