Summary: Preached on the Sunday before my heart surgery.

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Title: “Don’t Weep For Me.........”

Text: Luke 23:26-31 “As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, Blessed are the barren women, the wombs than never bore and the breasts that never nursed! Then ‘they will say to the mountains,’ ‘Fall on us!’ And to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

I assume that most of you have heard by now, about my very trying week. Several days of back and chest pain coming and going, eventually led me to my doctor’s office where after several tests of one kind and another he surmised that I was beginning to plug one or more of the stents that were inserted in my arteries last December. Tomorrow morning I am scheduled for another nuclear stress test and if they don’t like what they see they will do a heart catherization and insert new stents where needed. If that doesn’t work then it’s on to open-heart surgery.

When these troubles first came upon me last winter everything happened so quickly I really didn’t have time to think about it. I went from the emergency room in Eaton Rapids to the operating room at Ingham in short order. From that point on the rest of the week, with its return visits to the O.R. became a blur of doctor’s and nurse’s coming and going and me sleeping in the interim.

This time around I have had plenty of time to consider the consequences of such radical techniques as open heart surgery. Especially I recall that sheet of paper they had me sign each time before they wheeled me away. In essence it says that I am giving my permission to the surgeons to do whatever they deem necessary. If they determine that a stent will fix the problem then they will insert a stent. If they decide my condition has deteriorated beyond what a stent can correct then they will perform by-pass surgery. Oh, and by-the-way, the paper I am signing concludes……I understand that I could die during this process. Please sign here____________. Gulp!

As I said, the first time around I was so out of it I really didn’t think about it too much. Someone pointed to the line where they wanted me to sign, and I dutifully signed. This time around however, I have had time to give it some lucid thought. For those of you who haven’t had cause to undergo any physical tests in your doctor’s office or the lab lately, let me remind you that no one else in the whole world appears to be as concerned about getting the results back to you, in timely fashion, as you are. Believe me you will have plenty of time to play several of your favorite ‘worst case scenarios’ in a continuous loop format on the big screen T.V. we all have implanted in our imagination.

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