2016-08-16 - Ingrown Toenails
For the most part, most of us would consider an ingrown toenail to be an unpleasant condition. But over the weekend, Richard and I found ourselves giddy because of one. As most of you know, we have been dealing with RIchard's Guillain-Barre Syndrome, also known as Landry's Paralysis. When he was first released from the hospital, he was paralyzed from the heart down, and the only thing he could do for himself was to eat, and then only with special implements. Anyone who is quick to spout cliches about "God's will" or "God is so good all the time," "God knows best." etc. = and those who are looking for something the patient did to "bring this on" when there is usually no known reason and it is not at ALL the patients' fault - those people most likely haven't experienced a sudden and severe paralysis that renders them bed-ridden in middle age or youth (a friend who is in his 20s has a similar condition), and should be careful and considerate about what they say. They also need to re-read Job, and remind themselves that "(God) makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45b, NRSV)
When Richard was paralyzed, needed for me to do everything else for him. I was and am glad that I have been able to do that, have stayed healthy, etc. But we are both very thankful that he is slowly regaining bits and pieces of his independence. Though he still has numbness, the paralysis is finally all gone, in that he is able to move all parts of his body now. On the up side, he has "graduated" from a walker to a cane, and we are very grateful for that. However, he still has not been able to feel his feet when he walks, which makes for awkward and unstable steps. He is doing better than I would be, under the same circumstances; I believe that I would topple over. It is challenging to walk, when you have to watch your feet, and just in the last week, he has gotten to the point where he doesn't have to constantly look down. Now he has regained about 25% of the feeling in his feet, mostly on the tops of the feet.
However, he has had no feeling at all in his toes. But Sunday morning, after seven months that have seemed more like years to us, he reported to me that he has in ingrown toenail that is hurting him. It took me a moment to realize the import of what he had said. For the first time in seven months, he has feeling in his toes! So the pain served a good purpose, an alert that he has regained some feeling in his toes! While we were rejoicing about that, I started thinking that God often gives us unpleasant sensations or thoughts or experiences, to "alert" us about problems. Perhaps we are having trouble sleeping at night, because we have an issue in a relationship with someone, and we need to reach out to that person. Perhaps we have a sense of discomfort when we visit a certain place, and that is the Lord's way of alerting us that we don't have any business visiting that particular club or whatever. I'm sure that we all could give examples of God's alerts in our lives. I challenge you, along with myself, to try to pay more attention to God's alert system in our spiritual lives, as well.
Janice P. Moser
All scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.