Every Lent is different. Most times I purposefully make it so.
This year’s difference is a little out of my control. This year, the day after Lent begins, I will find myself in a hospital theatre for a small operation. The six weeks of Lent will be about me getting my body healed and back in shape. Though I hope to be back preaching a couple of Sundays after the operation, I have given myself to Easter Sunday to be fully restored.
The simultaneousness of my physical healing and the use of Lent to seek my spiritual healing makes this a very unique year.
Even from the start. On the second day of Lent I lay myself down on an operating table and put myself vulnerably into the hands of others. I have had a few months of bad health. Infections and now TEN antibiotics have played havoc with my body and indeed my mind. I have been physically tired and creatively a little dull.
The worst days physically had me longing for this operation. I wanted to be well. As the day arrives I am more apprehensive. When I come round from the aesthetic will I have any pain? Will the few days afterwards be comfortable? How long will it be until I heal? Please God, this is the end of the problem?
I am appreciating the immense prayer support from around the world. I recently watched that West Wing episode where President Bartlett was talking to Arnie Vinnick who was hoping to take over from as President. Bartlett says, “The only thing you can pray for in this job is the strength to get through the day. You can try coffee if you want, but prayer works better for me.” Amen Jed. It’s why we call our dog after you!
Thank you all for your prayers!
My apprehension is way over imbalanced by hope. Hope for that creativity to come back. Hope that I won’t need any more antibiotics or fear that when a course finishes the infection will come back. Hope that some week up ahead I will be back to 10:10 - life in all it fulness!
It is more than an operation and healing. In the last four months I have put on some serious weight and am very unfit. On Friday morning I hope the operation will be done and the healing of the scars will begin. However, I have targeted Easter to restore my health and even after that want to use the spring to be ready for Uganda in July.
So, all of this throws a little more focus on Lent. Can I do with my soul what my body is going to go through? Can I open myself to God? Be vulnerable. Be prepared for the spiritual knife of the Spirit? Can I find the hope in amongst the apprehension as I allow God to do his work as the Soul Surgeon. Am I then up for the healing, six weeks of giving myself to be spiritually more healthy on Easter Sunday morning.
Let’s do it… pray for me as I do.