My View From the Window
I beg you to indulge me a moment as I give a brief report on my knee surgery. I believe I saw something noteworthy.
The surgery itself went so well it is almost embarrassing. We left the house at 6:30am and I was home by 10:30am. Everyone at the clinic was pleasant and helpful and I spent very little time waiting at any stage of the process. The surgeon and his assistant even took a couple minutes to enjoy the hilarious DIY Home Meniscus Repair Manual some good friends made for me, and I even had them sign it like a high school yearbook. My worst pain in the whole process was the little poke of the needle at the start. Even through four days of recovery my pain never got above a one.
That batch of goodness alone is worth a happy dance, but it doesn’t end there. Friday is normally my ‘I gotta crank it out’ day for sermon prep, but this time John Heath was carrying that load (thanks John) so I enjoyed a pressure-free day as my sweet wife took care of me. On Saturday and Sunday, I missed sharing in our worship services, but reveled in having plenty of unhurried time in Scripture and prayer and listened to an excellent sermon from John Piper. In the afternoons and evenings, I did sermon illustration research, that is to say, I watched a bunch of movies.
Monday (yesterday) was the day I spotted something important as I looked out the front window. Kristin was off to work and I was beginning my fourth day parked on the couch. I still enjoyed the unhurried morning with God and the fun of a movie in the afternoon, but I was beginning to get restless. Normally, I would be working in the woods on a sunny Monday like this. This is a perfect day for it. I wondered how much rehab it would take to get back out there. I’m sure one week is far too hopeful, but maybe two? Three tops, right?
What about never?
I suddenly remembered that some people spend all day, every day, looking out the window. Theirs is not a temporary break from the norm, it is the norm. Outside of an extraordinary miracle, they are not counting weeks to recovery, they are just counting weeks. They may well have lost count by now. Many of these have the added burden of chronic pain, one day of which would likely make me want to throw in the towel.
I have a fresh and sober respect for the task of clinging to God in faith through long-term suffering and disability. In my miniscule little knee problem, I have been showered with prayer and I am grateful for it. But I hope you will help us be diligent to lift up those facing the truly difficult tests. The ones who need it most are likely the ones hardest to remember because they’ve been out of sight the longest. Their condition is no longer new and public awareness has faded. Their new normal is to persevere in faith. Our new normal is to not forget and to help them by our prayers.