If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lost. And Found

I posted this a few years ago. The story still has value for me. Perhaps it will for you as well.

If I only touch His garment, I will get well (Matthew 9:21)

Before the orderly wheeled my gurney into the operating suite, the physician injected an anesthetic just above my right collarbone. He said my arm would be paralyzed for the next 24 to 36 hours. He also instructed me to take my pain medication that evening, in case the anesthetic wore off sooner.

He was right about the paralysis. When I awoke in the recovery room I had absolutely no feeling in my arm and couldn’t even move my pinky. The disconnect between my arm and brain was so complete, when I touched my fingers with my left hand, it felt as if I was touching another person. I left the hospital with a bulky dressing from my right elbow to wrist, and my arm in a sling. My wife drove me home. Although the paralysis continued into the night. I took my pain medication as ordered and went to bed.

In my semi-drugged state I dozed on and off until around 3:00. Trying to get more comfortable, I shuffled several pillows around my head and arm – and for some inexplicable reason removed my sling. A moment later when I again tried to get more comfortable, my right arm suddenly flew over the side of the bed. I’d forgotten I had no control over it, and a sudden fear of injuring myself swooped over me.

In the dark and in my narcotic-induced haze, I reached for my arm, but couldn’t find it. I searched with my left hand along the mattress and grew frantic that I’d lost my arm. Fortunately, logic subdued my rising panic and I realized if I reached for the place where my arm originates – my shoulder – I could follow it to where my arm should be.  Moments later (and much relieved) I cradled my right arm to my chest and replaced my sling.

Like my experience that early morning in the dark, sometimes life has kicked me so hard in the gut I’ve fallen to the ground gasping for breath. And not satisfied with that, life kicked me again while I was down until I could do nothing but lie there, paralyzed.  Numb.  Darkness overtook me. I felt as if I’d lost direction. Panic worked its talons up toward my throat and squeezed until I couldn’t breathe. If not for a glimmer of logic that settled over me, I don’t know where I would have ended up.

That experience reminded me of a critically important principle: When I lose my direction, my confidence, my security . . . when nothing makes sense, that’s the time – like no other time – to reach out, as often as necessary, for the place where hope, direction, and peace originate.

At the feet of Jesus.

Where I always find what I lost.


Barb Schoeneberger said...

That reaching for Jesus at all times - if we make it a habit - will get us through anything. Sometimes I am surprised by how much I still try to depend on myself rather than Him. I think He allows great difficulties so that we can redirect our attention to him.

Rich Maffeo said...

Interesting you make this comment. I just last evening read through Deuteronomy 8. Here is a section that your comment reminded me of:

"He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint.

"In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.

"Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18 But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth . . . .

And so I was thinking this morning how ARROGANT of me to think so often that my own abilities, my experiences, my talents, my education, my . . my . . .my . . . all combine to lead me through life.

No. It is not by my might, or my power, or my abilities, but it is ONLY by His spirit (Zechariah 4:6)
that I am led, and am successful, or whatever things good and right happen with me and through me.

Like that passage in Dt, who do I think GAVE me all the things I enjoy?