With the Psalmist I pray, “I will extol Thee, O LORD, for Thou hast lifted me up. O LORD my God, I cried to thee for help, and Thou didst heal me” (Psalm 30:1-2). After nine months of leg pain which increased in frequency and severity whenever I stood or walked, and after a progression of unsuccessful treatments including chiropractic, medication, physical therapy and a steroid injection in the spine, God gave me relief and healing two weeks ago (June 1998) through the skillful work of Houston neurosurgeon Dr. Rob Parrish who removed a herniated disk in a two-hour surgery. I went home the same day and walked half a mile the day following — although for the past two weeks I have been generally limited to lying down or standing up.
For your hundreds of e-mails, cards, letters, virtual cards and especially your prayers, I give you humble thanks. The knowledge that I was being prayed for by God’s people across Christendom and around the world has been immensely strengthening. I was blessed by every such reminder, and was moved to tears by one such message from gracEmail reader Moto Nomura who, after 40 years of difficult ministry, now meets with about 20 Christian believers. “When our small group of believers here in the mountains of central Japan gather at the Lord’s Table, ” Brother Moto wrote, “we will be remembering you.”
God’s “angels” included the dedicated and caring nurses and staff persons at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, my own loving family, and so very many of you. The old pain is completely gone. The doctor assures me that a somewhat deadened foot and slight ache in the leg resulted from normal trauma to the nerve during surgery and will also pass soon. I hope to resume work half-time on Tuesday, and full-time beginning next week. I am hopeful that the ability to walk again will eventually eliminate the need for some blood pressure medicine as well.
I look forward to resuming gracEmail — and appreciate the testimonials to what it means to many of you. While I expect to pen two or three pieces based on my recent surgery and recovery, I promise not to dwell on that any further than I reckon it will be edifying. All praise to Jehovah Rapha — “The LORD our Healer.”