Fasten Seat Belts Please!
By way of introduction, what comes to mind is the Betty Ford Clinic. It’s kind of a place for drying out – getting beyond addictive behaviors.
What I would like to talk about today is something like that, only it’s more in the nature of soaking up, rather than drying out. Searching Together is a place that actually exists, but I am taking the liberty of adding to it’s name, (the title of this post) and calling it “The Searching Together Clinic For The Terminally Religious.”
I am tempted to take a long rabbit trail here, exploring the meaning of “terminal,” as in “train terminal,” as it could so easily be applied to doing “church” in special buildings, and more recently, efforts to do “church” in living rooms. Perhaps I can save that exploration for another day.
Right now I’m writing from the passenger seat of our car, as my wife, Carleen and I are heading for a Searching Together Conference in Elgin, IL. As you may already be aware from reading some of my prior posts, I am in a war with terminal cancer.
One of the side effects of several of the chemo therapy agents is joint pain. Right at the moment it is the worst it has been so far, and it was already crippling. This is day-two of our drive. (As already mentioned, I will try to make sense out of all of this before we get done here.)
The first time we attended the Searching Together Conference was back in 2005, though it had been going on for many years prior to our finally managing to get there. In 2005, we met two people, a mother and daughter who were wonderful. That’s mostly the kind of people who attend Searching Together conferences. :-)
In the years since 2005 we have kept in touch with Pam and her mom, and especially Pam. It has mostly been Pam’s faithfulness that has maintained contact with an email every year or two. Then several months ago, Pam had a relapse of sorts mostly to do with the “terminally living roomed.” For the past couple of months we have kept in very close contact, even to the point of Pam coming to stay with us in order to help Carleen take care of me, and the household chores that I was less and less able to look after myself. There is much that could be said here, but for the present let’s just say she has raised the bar on visiting the sick, to say nothing of angelic visitations.
While with us, Pam made it a matter of very high priority to keep me well irrigated. She also enlisted our niece Hope in the watering task, and between the two of them I was reminded of Disney’s Fantasia, and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I nearly drowned!
Let’s just say that I spent so much time heading for the john that it was very difficult to have a coherent conversation, or even one in the best style of 1st Corinthians 14.
Looking back on the days when Pam was with us from the vantage point of this morning, and the worst sleepless night so far, I realized that my joint pain was much reduced while she was with us, and that while I was still on chemo therapy drugs. Not quite a week ago now I pretty much decided to stop with the chemo. I’ll go into the details of that decision perhaps in a future post, but for now I mention it in connection with the joint pain, and the fact that after quitting the chemo, the pain has only gotten worse. At 6:00 a.m. this morning it finally dawned on me that I had very little to drink while driving, only a glass of water when we stopped for lunch and supper. (At 73 I’m from the old school when we didn’t walk around with water bottles strapped to our hips.)
This just to say that between Pam nearly drowning me, and yesterday’s water deprivation, I am now a believer in water for a dry and thirsty man/woman.
It was our time with the Searching Together Clinic for the terminally “churched” that made all the difference! Thanks Jon & Dotty!
What’s been calling itself “church” sooner or later will dry you down. The Holy Spirit will Wet you up!
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