Merely Mortal

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It’s been a strange couple weeks. Not “strange” as it being odd, but “strange” in being eye opening. So maybe the word shouldn’t be “strange”, but instead, “enlightening”.

First, since it’s been awhile, I have a new granddaughter, Selah Hope, who I absolutely adore. I now have three grandchildren, two granddaughters and a grandson, whom I love in a way that I didn’t know was possible for me to love. It’s like loving your kids, only different. A lot different. Hard to explain it, but its like God opens up a new part of your heart to have these little munchkins inhabit. Beyond words.

With that being said, two weeks ago Bonnie, my wife of 31 years, was hospitalized with chest pains. I was called to where she works and told she was having pain. Now my wife is a daughter of a nurse, and unless you’re dying, you don’t go to the hospital. I tell you, it was the scariest thing I’d been through. She was pale and weak. So off to the hospital we go.

They ran tests, labs, x-rays, CT Scans, the works. They decided to keep her overnight for observation. My wife, to say the least, is a very poor patient. She was in the hospital bed with a gown, refusing to take off her pink scrubs from work, and wearing her tennis shoes! I told her to take her pants off and stay in bed and she tells me there is no need for that. She believed that there was no reason for her to be in the hospital, and that the Lord had her there to pray for people. That, in a nutshell, is my wife.

It was discovered that she had a leaky valve in her heart, and that she has to wear a heart monitor for a month. Now, it’s been over 90 degrees for a week and a half and will continue to be that way, and we are helping my daughter and son-in-law move into a new home. She had no intention of  doing this heart monitor thing, however, our doctor is the sweetest woman we know, so she wouldn’t fight her. So here we are with that.

Last week, the young Princess (that’s what I call Selah), was running a fever of 101.8. She was three weeks old and the doctor told my daughter to take her to the ER. So it’s 2 in the morning, and Jo Jo, Selah, and I are in the ER. They ran tests, took blood, and I admit, was horrible to watch. The poor thing was poked and prodded, and trying to get blood from a three week old was very, well, trying.

They could find nothing wrong, but decided that they needed her to go to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, and by ambulance as her fever wasn’t coming down, and a three week old shouldn’t be having a fever. So I go home to be with the Princess (Haniah, Selah’s three year old sister) while mom and dad go to Pittsburgh. It was a crazy week.

They took tests, x-rays, couldn’t get blood so tried a vein in her head, and the nurses said that Selah was one tough girl. They were testing for meningitis and other things. She was hospitalized 4 days and mom and day got to stay at Ronald McDonald House, which is a fantastic place that parents utilize to stay close to their kids while they’re hospitalized. I will not rush by the donation requests for the Ronald McDonald House at my local McDonalds anymore..

Needless to say, all came back well, and it was a virus. Thank God for that.

These two incidents brought me face to face with the blunt reality that we are all mortal. We have a beginning and an end. From my wife to my granddaughter, thoughts of the reality of the end of life smacked me in the face. What would I do if something happened to Bonnie? Or Selah? Or, actually, anyone in my family. Are we ready for this?

I’m 60 and realize that things happen as we get older. This past month also saw my blood pressure getting out of control, and have been monitoring it closely with slight adjustments to meds. I’ve been walking nearly every day, but that is no guarantee, although helpful. of a longer life. Bonnie’s Uncle Ron, who is the most fit man in his age group (early 70’s) that I know, was hospitalized with a blood clot. It could have killed him.

There will come a day of reckoning for all of us. Some sooner than others. It is with this thought in mind that I wonder if I’m doing enough for God. I wonder if there is more I should be doing. I know God loves me no matter what I do, but what do I do that shows God how much I love Him? Do I love my fellow man and woman? Do I care at all for the poor? Am I self-centered or Christ-centered?

As I reflect on these, I realize that all that matters is that at the end, Christ will say ‘well done, My good and faithful servant’. My goal now, is to make sure that all I do is for Him, not for me.

I’m finding that it is hard to do. I’m finding that I am merely mortal, and it’s God’s grace alone that compels me to do good. To serve. To love.

I think I woke up.

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2 Responses

  1. Love you so much, you mortal man, for being so transparent. Your honesty is refreshing and eye-opening and can serve to nudge us out of our complacency. Thank you for sharing from your heart!

  2. Hello, Pastor Joe!!:-) WOW!!!! So….Nothing “MAJOR” Happened in the Past few months then?!! 😉 lol I’m just teasing!! Lol. I am sure it wasn’t easy seeing your granddaughter in the hospital, or Bonnie, either; I have had both my kids in the hospital when younger, for anything from high temperatures, to surgeries; and I’ve had My Aunts in the Hospital(And various other family members as well!!)too. And one thing I thought through it all was that God was making Me *STRONGER*!! Strong enough to *HANDLE ANYTHING* Life throws at Me!!(Tho, BELIEVE ME, When My Kids Had Surgery at 6 months, 11 months and abit older-That WASN’T what I was thinking!! Lol) But later on, as I came to the “Revelation” that God WAS trying to *Teach* Me *Something*, I also Discovered(And Keep Discovering!!) that God only *Gives You as Much as You Can Bear!!* And I never Quite understood that, til I went thru surgeries and stuff with my kids, and then My Aunts got sick w/ Cancer and were in the hospital, and other ” things happened”. I found it to be True. God is ALWAYS THERE when YOU NEED Him MOST….And Takes Cares Of YOU(AND, Your Loved Ones!!) when You Need Him To!! Sorry!! I see this got abit “long-winded”!! Sometimes its hard for me to “express myself” in few words”!! Lol I am glad to hear Your Granddaughter, Selah, is doing well, and Bonnie is doing better….and your blood pressure is now “under control”!! 🙂 You know, I am always here to talk to, if You need me, Pastor Joe!! My phone is:(585) 773-1886. Take Care, My Friend, And Have A Great Rest Of The Week!! God Bless!!((HUGS)) Laurie:-)

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