Who would have thought my annual physical would end up in an apocalyptic moment with the nurse who just stuck a needle in me?
It happened on April 30, 2015.
Confessionally, while early, it may prove to be as transforming as my time with Eugene and my covenant brothers back in October 2011.
Let's set the scene.
The Board of Pensions of the PCUSA has become a total pain in the butt when it comes to their so-called "Call to Health" incentives, requirements, blackmail, and...
Simply, if we wanna reduce medical deductibles, we've gotta jump through all kinda hoops and...
Guessing all roads lead back to DC's Pennsylvania Avenue on this, it's just another example of someone trying to control behaviors and dictate how we...
While everyone has been nice to me when I've called Philadelphia to report my numbers and other stuff so my financial manager aka wife doesn't scold me for not tapping into the benefits, I find myself spending more and more and more time pushing papers and satisfying bureaucrats and...
Catch the drift?
Anyway, I went through the typical things that ya gotta go through during those "preventive care" appointments.
I was reminded, especially during the prostate exam, why doctors get paid so much.
But while we'll wait to see what the blood suckers in the lab discover, I came out pretty swell. All my pressures and pulses and beats were inspected and detected to be that of a dude half my age. I think that's cool; but know that will disappoint people who hate me in a Christian kinda way for spoiling their coincidental-to-Christianity religion and exposing their idolatries while wishing I'd fall off Return2 on Route 90 or get knocked off by my Islamofascistnutball fans. Unless I fall off my pony or get assassinated by the posers or demonic religionists or PCUSA and other mainlining jingoists, I think I'm good for another two decades or so.
Sorry to disappoint...
Everything was going just peachy; until the MD said, "It's looks like you're due for pneumococcal conjuggate vaccine. The nurse will be in shortly to administer it."
"That sounds like needles," I joked to conceal me being a weenie when it comes to shots.
I shouldn't have joked.
He just left the room and was replaced by a nurse with the needle.
O.K., I give blood every six weeks.
If I have to explain that to you, you wouldn't understand anyway.
I still loathe pain; and needles cause pain.
But by the time the nurse shot me up with whatever was in that needle at the doctor's prescription, I didn't feel a thing.
Yeah, she was probably good at it.
Buuuuuut it was something much, much, much more.
It was a divine appointment.
The following records, uh, what, uh, happened.
You interpret it for yourself.
Like my time with Eugene, I think I'll be interpreting/savoring/transforming for a long, long, long time.
She walked into the room...and closed the door.
I said, "I don't like pain."
She said, "I would never hurt you."
I said, 'We'll see."
She said, "No, truly, I would never hurt you."
She looked at me, eyeball to eyeball without blinking with disarming strength yet sensitivity, and asked me to tell her about what I have hanging around my neck.
I explained, "Well, there's a cross with the seal of the denomination on it. I got it when I was ordained. It has porcelain inlays that, like me, have chipped over time."
She interrupted, "You are doing better now."
"The other cross," I continued after her judgment without asking how she could say that without us knowing each other, "was made by a pastor who died years ago."
She asked, "What about the ring?"
"It's the Lion of Judah," I replied.
She took it in her hand while looking through my eyes into my spirit and urged,"Go on."
Softly, yet clearly, I said, "It's the Lion of Judah. Jesus. I wear it because I have come to realize it's not enough for me to care for the wounded; but also to do what I can to protect people from being wounded."
She smiled softly yet with a strength that continued to disarm me; then asked, "Would you like to see my tattoo?"
"Absolutely," I answered.
She rolled up her right sleeve and I saw a beautiful tattoo with intricate weavings and symbols and...
"This tattoo symbolizes the pain of a mother...My 18 year old son committed suicide over 7 years ago...He was gay..."
She took her time to explain each detail and each feeling and...
"I am very, very, very sorry for your loss," I said.
"I know you are," she said.
"If you would rather not talk about it, I will understand," I inquired, "but why did he commit suicide?"
She assured, "We are here right now because He wants us to be here. God called us together for this moment. I will tell you why my son committed suicide. He was bullied and..."
It was a painful recollection.
If it were not for...His presence, it would have been unbearable.
"I am very, very, very sorry for your loss."
She asked how I feel about gays.
We talked of God's invitational, welcoming, and inclusive love.
We talked of agape.
We talked of...pain.
I felt hers...and his.
"I am very, very, very sorry for your loss."
"Tell me," she pressed, "how do you feel about gays?"
'Well," I said, "I believe God loves gays no more nor no less than He loves anyone else..."
We talked more about God's...
"I am very, very, very sorry for your loss," I repeated again...and again...and again...and...
She smiled again...and again...and again...and...
Then she administered the shot.
I didn't feel it.
Strangely warmed and uncommonly calm, I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience or something.
She asked, "Are you a hugger?"
Before I could respond, we hugged.
Once more, I said, "I am very, very, very sorry for your loss."
She said, "That is what I needed to hear...and you needed to say."
She looked deeply into me once more without a word.
My heart felt...massaged.
There was a very, very, very long pause - and one last eyeball to eyeball without blinking.
Then she left.
Blessings and Love!