Thursday, December 5, 2013


That's been me this week.
At least in terms of blogging.
I've been in sewing overdrive because I have less than two weeks until my (wait, let me get the paper so I can write the proper medical words) "C6-7 Anterior Cervical Dishectomy and Fusion, Bone Marrow." In layman's terms, this means that starting the 17th of December when I get out of surgery, I'm going to be unavailable for just about anything for who-knows-how-long. Three months of no-driving, I know that. The woman who did my intake at the hospital actually asked if I'm going to a rehab facility after the surgery. YIKES. No way, I thought. When I told Beve that, he said I could bunk in Grampie's room. Nope, I'm coming home, but apparently the recovery's so grueling and everything so particular, I have to take a class at the hospital (with a coach even) so I can practice how to move. Kind of like Lamaze without the baby at the end. I've been trying to work on living my life without bending at the waist, moving my head in any direction, etc. It's tricky. VERY, VERY tricky. I think I'll be glad (at least at first) to have a neck brace on. By the way, I DON'T know my neck size, which is one of the questions I was asked. Like how many people who don't wear dress shirts and ties actually know their neck size? Beve said I should have just thrown out a number like, "142." That's his sense of humor (and timing), which I don't have.

All this to say, I've been something of a mad-woman trying to get everything done I envisioned having another week to finish. I decided to make new Christmas stockings this year, for example. But didn't start them until Monday. I know, I know, I could have jettisoned that project, but I didn't want to. I don't want to jettison ANY of them.

So this takes a toll on a reflective state of mind, if you know what I mean. However, this morning, as I was reading Psalm 31, I was moved. Not surprising, because it has a whole lot in it that applies to my NOW.  " strength fails because of my affliction and my bones grow weak (10)."
"I have become like broken pottery (12)."
And this beautiful, favorite verse, which is exactly what I feel about my upcoming surgery, 
"But I trust in you, Lord. I say, "You are my God," my times are in your hands (14, 15a)." 
Yes, I love how often a Psalm fits itself to my real-life circumstances.

And I learn this most from Psalm 31:5
"Into your hands I commit my spirit..."

These are the last words uttered by Jesus on the Cross, and along with the first verse of Psalm 22, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" I usually think of them as belonging to Jesus, in a way. Or perhaps like He was saying something new. At least I used to think that. But I can't forget that He was praying Psalms when He spoke laboriously from the cross. He used two of His meager lot sentences for Psalms, and not just any Psalms of lamentation, but ones attributed to David. And a few things strike me about this.
1. Jesus knew the Psalms. And He knew they were meant for life. They weren't just meant for high, holy moments, or to be said wearing skull caps in the synagogue, ceremony and ritual, and "Be careful of the Torah!" by only the most reverent of men at the most reverent of moments. No, they were also meant for the gritty moments, with shoes still on (sometimes), hidden in caves, running for your life, facing enemies, mourning the loss of a child. Confessing adultery or other sin. Real-life moments. David wrote them in such moments, he wrote them in response to his real relationship with God. Even a king wasn't protected from real life, and this king wrote out his real life--in prayer.
2. Jesus chose David's Psalms. KING David's, I should clarify. Jesus knew (Of course He knew!) that He was the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. The throne of David would be established forever. THROUGH Jesus Christ. Even as He was hanging on a cross, pulling Himself up on His nailed and bloody hands to gasp for breath, He spoke the words that would remind His listeners of who He was. Who He is. To His final breath, Jesus continued to speak the Good News. Sure, He was misunderstood. Probably more then than ever, but He preached the Kingdom by claiming the King's words for Himself. What David had written, Jesus spoke. How amazing is that? Those who saw it, those who would hear of it, and all of us who read these words are drawn in to how these words--and David's story--finds its home in Jesus. Emmanuel. The Incarnate Word.

And so do we. The Psalms can be ours because--and this isn't a trite thing to say--we have found our true home in Jesus. We can claim the WORD because HE is the WORD. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us..."  " all who did receive Him,, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."


M said...

With how you describe your future experiences, I'd probably want the Lamaze with the baby at the end over your surgery-to-be!

Pamela M. Steiner said...

What a powerful message coming out of your time of affliction and trial. Rest assured, God, Emmanuel, IS with you...He's with you NOW, and He will be with you as you go through the valley of Surgery, and He will be with you every single moment of your recovery and thereafter. He WILL NOT leave you nor forsake are safe within His capable healing comforting hands...the same hands that were pierced for you and me. My prayers go up to the throne of God for you during these days of frenetic preparation and thereafter. I've been through major back surgery and know a little of what you are facing...although yours sounds much more involved since it is the neck...but one I think I know: "With God, Nothing will be impossible!" that sounds familiar...didn't the Angel tell that to Mary just after He announced the immaculate conception of Christ? Well...if God can do that...He can carry you through this surgery and deliver you safely to the other side...stronger and filled with awe at what He has done! Peace be with you my friend.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

(should have said above, "but one THING I know"...not I think I know. Not sure where that came's early in the morning here in FL.)