Praying for America

Nov 7, 2016 by

Six months ago yesterday I took a weird fall while stepping onto an upside down door mat in Boyd Hall on Auburn University while picking up my daughter from the end of her freshman year of college.  A week later I went to see a chiropractor here in Mesquite, Texas. The man I saw was not licensed at the time he treated me and from records from the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners, he was not under anyone’s supervision at the time either.

Following that visit, my back has not been the same. I’ve been through a three-level laminectomy of my lower lumbar, had an epidural, had two hernias repaired, had injections in my hip as a diagnostic check to see if I have meralgia paraesteticas (which I don’t because one week after injections I hurt as much more or more) and this week I have an EMG (they’re going to stick fine needles into my thighs and see which nerves are damaged and which ones are working) and next week I’m slated for more injections, these into the facets of my vertebrae in my lower back.

I’m on Fentanyl patches–funny/not, last year I ended a draft of my second novel by having the lead character return to his childhood home, devastated by the changes and ruin that have happened in his life, and end it all, with cancer by pouring the contents of his F patch into lemonade and drinking it–(I do not recommend nor am I planning to actually do this myself), and a high dose of Percocet every eight hours. I’m in constant pain. Doctors can’t figure out what to do. My spine surgeon wants to do rods and screws and fuse my spine, a neurosurgeon wants to go another route. Two specialists at 180 degree polar opposites. (I will save a rant for the value of second opinions for later.)

In this time of agony I’ve learned a lot about pain. Millions of Americans suffer from it. MILLIONS. When I booked an appointment for my pain management doctor in June his office said they receive 50 referrals a day–FIFTY–for people in pain.

THE POWER OF PRAYER

This whole experience has brought me closer in my walk with the Lord, albeit I do less walking today than I could ever want. I’m going loopy being stuck in doors, unable to drive because of my pain and the meds I’m on.

But I’ve found a ministry I can do that is making a difference. I pray for my friends–ones who seem to be doing better at life right now than I am. Before church services each Sunday I’m either texting or emailing those who lead me and letting them know I’ve been praying for their words and actions and songs and worship and praise to make a difference in the lives of those sitting there in front of them, and as important, maybe even more, to those at home who are unable to attend either because of illness or the geography between the church and wherever in the world they may be.

This has also led me to texting friends and telling them I’m praying for them, understanding their woes, and lifting them up before God and asking for their forgiveness, their healing, their recovery, or their improved walk with the Lord.

I find this is one of the best uses of my time and I’ve been learning to concentrate on doing more and more of it each day.

A TURNING POINT

Yesterday I sent such a text to a friend of mine from yesteryear, one who unfriended me a few months ago on Facebook because I happen to believe that Donald Trump will make a better president than Hillary Clinton. I’m not that big of a Trump supporter, but I know that if my father, who served 22 years in the US Air Force had handled classified information the way Mrs. Clinton has, he’d be headed to Leavenworth, Kansas and their federal prison.

After telling him I was praying for him, I said that if he’s even close to being in the area at Christmas, I’d love to see him, even just to shake his hand. His response was saddening. He said that because I’m a supporter for Trump, and because of Trump’s views toward minorities and women, that he doesn’t associate with racists and sexist people who support him.

My reply was simple, I will continue to pray for this friend.

America was founded on the principle of freedom of expression. So I’m thankful my friend has the ability to express such narrow-minded opinions. But I’ll be damned if I’m a racist or sexist because he/she has decided to lump me in with a narrow band of those who are. When did it become a condemnation to not agree with someone else’s political views? My decisions about whom I vote for are based on more than the color of skin or gender.

I despise what we have become in America. Those who claim they’re in support of tolerance are tolerant as long as you agree in lock-step with their ideals–many which are contrary to Judeo-Christian principles we’ve held in this country from the beginning. It is disgusting to be called a bigot because you don’t agree with someone whose views run contrary to Biblical teachings. But such is the walk of a Christian, I suppose.

On Election Eve 2016, I will continue to pray for America, for our “leaders,” and for those who preach tolerance and practice so little of it. America deserves better than what we’re giving her, on all levels, and I’ve decided the only way to make it better is to be accepting of other views, not condemning, not stereotyping, and being mindful that words are pretty powerful stuff.

We are headed for a deeper, more hate-filled four years no matter who wins tomorrow. And it’s disgusting to watch.

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