Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Walking without Pain

It's hard to imagine my last post was April 30th.  Five and a half months ago - what have I been up to?  Well, where do I begin?  I took on an interim pastor position to assist Adrian United Methodist Church with a change in their pastoral leadership.  I've been working with three congregations (First, Emmanuel, and Adrian UMC) to examine the possibility of forming one church with three sites - that's been busy.  I had my hip replaced in August (and in three weeks, the plan is to have my knee replaced on the same side).  

So, yeah, it's been a little busy.  I had a few moments this morning and decided it was a good time to rekindle the blogging effort again.  

After my hip replacement, I had five weeks of physical therapy.  At the start, the exercises weren't the easiest.  The therapist was really aware of my pain levels and made sure I didn't overextend myself.  I was really glad to have finally addressed the pain that was in my hip, due to "primary osteoarthritis of the left hip" - the medical diagnosis that just means my left hip was always in pain.  I couldn't even swing the golf club properly because I wasn't able to turn my left side.  I haven't played golf since the surgery and probably won't until next spring.  I wonder what that will feel like.

I thought about the therapy and realized that the primary purpose was not only to help me gain strength back in my hip area, but also to relearn how to walk without the gimping motion I had grown so accustomed to.  It was so pronounced that one of my grandsons was copying my gait.  I asked him what he was doing and he said he was walking like me - without the pain, of course.  I swear he said it with a twinkle in his eye.

I call tell you - it isn't the easiest thing to relearn how to do something that seemed so natural.  We learn to walk as infants - the moment we take that first step, we graduate to toddler status.  Over the years our walk is determined by many things... injuries, the aging process, pulled muscles, gravity, weight gain - those sorts of things.  I know my stride has changed over the years.  Now I have to learn how to walk again.  This time, I walk without the pain.

I can only imagine those who walk with a different kind of pain - the pain of broken relationships... the pain of lost faith... the pain of grief and loss... the pain of dashed hopes and dreams.  Is it a given that no matter what precautions we may take or how hard we work to remain healthy, something may come along to challenge us?  Maybe.  We live in a broken world, after all.  But learning how to walk in faith again is just as hard spiritually as it is physically - maybe even harder.  

But there is something about the journey that helps us to grow stronger.  Somehow, at some point, in some way, we relearn how to trust, we rekindle the depths of our faith, we renew our resolve to follow Christ.  True, we need to be in some kind of "therapy" for this to happen - whether it's community, worship, bible study, etc.  

We can learn how to walk upright in faith again.

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