I was playing with my grandson and crawling, on my knees, through tunnels that we made out of the cushions on the lounge – our secret castle to hide in (I know, castles aren’t normally secret but this one was).
The next day I felt the pain slightly, there on the left hand side of my upper leg. It became worse throughout the day but still bearable. It’s nice to have pain at times like that. You feel you have done something in terms of exercise, but not overdone it.
I must have overdone it! Neurofen solves aches and pains, so after taking 2 of them, I went to bed early because of the increased pain shooting up and down my left leg when I moved it in certain ways. Julie prayed for me. I had a certificate IV course to start the next day but I didn’t think the soreness, if it was still there tomorrow, would bother me much.
It did bother me much! By 1.00am I was in excruciating agony. No matter where I moved I could not get rid of the shooting pain. I managed to get out of bed and walked around at a snails pace thinking of Job and praying for God to intervene ASAP. I didn’t care how – gentle touch or lightning bolt, so long as I didn’t have to go on living with the miserable pain that spasmed up and down my leg.
By 1.30 am I asked Julie to drive me to hospital. It was a major effort just to get into the car and I groaned in agony all the way. (Julie is so longsuffering. She’s had babies. She understands pain). It seemed to be taking forever to get there. They would do something! A doctor would say “What seems to be the problem?” I would tell him and the pain would go away.
No, perhaps the doctor would start asking “Does this hurt?” as he prodded me and manipulated my leg. I determined that if this happened I would roar out in pain uncontrollably and I would hit him! Being a Pastor would not stop me. I would hit him, hard! He would then see that I really WAS in pain and help me, quickly, by sedating me with morphine or cyanide or something, before calling the police. Anything! Just kill the pain! (It was only one of many scenarios I thought of on the way to hospital).
Getting out of the car at the emergency door was torture and I gingerly went to the front desk. After working at her computer without acknowledging my presence in any way for what seemed like eternity, the hospital clerk looked up and smiled briefly with a hospital smile (It’s not real - plastic surgery or something under an uncaring glare). “Do you want to see a doctor?” she said. I saw the sign at the window that said that treating hospital staff with disrespect would not be tolerated, so I said, “Yes.”
The hospital clerk smiled again and decided it was time to fill out forms and take the details while I stood there suffering. Julie took over. I saw numbers on the floor and realised that to this hospital clerk I was just a number, not someone who needed help. “Just sit over there” she said when she had finished. I couldn’t sit. I would not be able to get up again. I took my place on the end of the chairs and a small line of people.
A man came in with his cousin looking confused and I told him to go to the helpful lady at the counter. It must be policy not to acknowledge people when they come in, because it happened to him also.
After what seemed like hours. Let me change that – after waiting for hours, I got to see a doctor. I thought so anyway. But it was just a hospital assistant. I was to be assessed by another computer person. The pain was still there so after answering whether I was allergic to anything and every other question imaginable, questions which were relevant and essential to my particular situation like my name (I still barely knew this – at 3 in the morning it should have been hard to remember things), another lady ushered me into a different waiting room, (It must have been boring for her, ushering people every 2 hours or so) to a small waiting room, paint peeling off the wall and just chairs that I still could not sit in because of the pain.
Somewhere in one of these rooms there surely must be a doctor who I could hit and be rid of the pain!
After the routine waiting period – eternity - a sixteen year old girl (I’m sure she was sixteen. Julie said she must have been 26) came into the room and said she was the doctor. She said “What seems to be the problem?” so she really must have been. I said I was in pain. She asked me where and then began the “Does this hurt?” prodding. I couldn’t very well hit a 16 year old girl, could I? (They must have known)!
She then asked me how this happened. I explained that I had been crawling on my knees through tunnels with my grandson. She didn’t bat an eyelid but accepted the explanation, because I looked my age, but still she wanted more information before dishing out the drugs. She asked me “What do you do for a living?” I said I was a Pastor and so I didn’t spend much time on my knees. She laughed and I wondered why, until I realised that this explanation sounded as if I was a backsliding Pastor. I said something like “Perhaps I should have spent more time on my knees and then this would not have happened?” I laughed for one of the few times that night, and after another long wait, she got me a prescription for strong pain killing drugs. I said thankyou like an addict.
The dose she administered I’m sure would have had to kill a horse to have any effect, but for me the pain eased slightly and sometime after 4 am, when we arrived home, I was able to sleep for a couple of hours without wanting to die. It was worth it! But I couldn’t help but think of my words “I’m a Pastor so I don’t normally spend much time on my knees” especially since I have been looking at prayer in my quietimes.
Jesus taught His disciples some principles of prayer on the mountain.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Richard Jones on Nov 3, 2000
Contributed by Tony Miano on Mar 10, 2001
Contributed by David Yarbrough on May 7, 2001
Contributed by Paul Fritz on Oct 18, 2000
With tears in his eyes, Lincoln responded, “You are the very first person who has ever come into my office asking not, expecting not, but rather bringing me a gift of prayer. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Contributed by Paul Fritz on Oct 18, 2000
A familiar slogan about prayer is, "Prayer changes things." But prayer doesn’t do this—God does. Some people think that prayer itself is the source of power, so they "try prayer," hoping "it will work" for them. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us according