After a month in the hospital, I’m finally home. My old pastor said that I had used up another of my nine lives. He’s known me since I was a teen. Now he’s retired and living nearby.
Some people would say that I’m “confined” to a wheelchair. I don’t know if that’s the term that I would use. I am certainly in a wheelchair. I can no longer feel my legs. However, there is an inner joy that comes with this. I remember being at the hospital and receiving the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Anointing of the sick. Anointing of the sick is a sacrament that many of us know about, but we rarely speak about it. Not too many people report anything extraordinary after receiving it.
The day that I was anointed, I felt that it was my last day on earth. I was sure that by the next morning I would be pushing daisies. That night, I went to sleep as usual, still in the hospital. After a few hours of sleep I awoke. Without thinking I grabbed a sock and put it on. I suddenly realized that I was putting on a sock and enjoying the challenge. When your legs no longer work as they did before, you have to plan how to put on your socks, pants, shoes and so forth. Activities that the brain would plan, coordinate and execute in nanoseconds now become projects that you have to figure out and plan before you begin. “If I put this there and pull my leg that way, then I can slide this over here,” and so forth. In my line of work we call this motor planning. You literally plan every movement before you engage. We all do it, but we don’t pay much attention to the brain. The brain does it so quickly that we don’t notice.
I’ve found out that all of the things I did before were not just random actions. There are physical laws that the body must follow or you can get hurt. The more I analyze and problems solve, the happier I feel. I’m finally finding out the beauty and harmony that God created when he created man. We function like a miracle. We can dance and hold a conversation at the same time or get dressed and plan tomorrow’s dinner.
I am more convinced than ever before that there is a God. This well-orchestrated body of ours cannot be a random accident. The fact that we can compensate when we lose a function, means that someone created laws that allow the physical world to function either on high speed using the brain body alone or on a slower speed using the brain, body and adaptive devices. Because these things work each and every time, they can be considered laws.
However, I have discovered that where there is a law, there is also a law giver. Whenever I have to face a new challenge these days, I begin to analyze the laws of physics and body movements. This way I can execute whatever it is with a certain degree of confidence and order. This knowledge that there is a law giver brings me a great sense of peace and gratitude.
It also brings me a little shame, because I have taken so many little things for granted. I used to think that putting on a pair of shoes was not a big deal. Now I know what the brain has to do in fractions of a second just to meet our demands. This understanding increases my awe in the presence of God.
I don’t know how much of my legs I’m going to recover. But I do know one thing. Nothing is an accident. Everything is part of a divine plan. The more I see myself as part of this plan, the happier and more peaceful I feel, even though my body seems twice my age. LOL
I need to get back to rest. Please keep me in your prayers and let us not forget to pray for those who take God’s gifts for granted, as if they were random accidents. Nothing is random. Everything is a sign of life calling out to life.