An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Monday, October 3, 2011

Taking Life With a Grain of Salt

David and Roberta's Simian Lines
On the day after a doctor gave me the name for the severe pain that had consumed me for several weeks, which was a Friday, I felt so discouraged that I kicked off my clothes, and put on my pajamas at 5 o’clock.

Climbing into bed, I remained there pretty much the whole weekend, mindlessly watching old movies, stacking up coffee cups and dishes, and leaving a litter of newspapers and Peppermint Patty wrappers on the bed.   

God kicked my sorry butt out of that personal pity party (which was the first of many, by the way) by reminding me of another time in my life that He  provided a way through when circumstances seemed dire.  I remembered it just a few days ago, when someone I love was given bad news by a doctor.  I hope it will serve to encourage you.

In 1987 our son, David, was born six weeks premature.  After three days in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) the director of the unit came to our hospital room, telling Warren and I that he wanted to review our baby’s reports.   Warren’s mother, Roberta, was visiting us in our room at the time.  We knew the doctor was about to give us disconcerting news when he suggested she leave the room, however, we said, “No, we would like for her to stay.  We are a close knit family.”

He shocked us right off with a few reports that indicated our little son might need two serious surgeries.  I braced myself for what was next when he cleared his throat, and said, “There is an even more serious issue, however, that I need to talk with you about.”

He raised his upturned hand, to reveal his palm to us.  Then, he pointed to the two creases that make up the “life line” and told us that David had only one line single line, called a “Simian Line”.  Automatically, we looked at our own palms, as I wondered what in the world this could mean. 

The doctor said, “This occurs naturally only in a tiny part of the population, and then only in those of Asian descent.  Obviously, neither of you fit into that category.  I am afraid, that this single line, combined with David’s other abnormalities points to even more serious problem...”

Before he could continue, Warren’s mother, who had been sitting quietly behind us, joined us in our huddled circle.  Roberta, normally a shy woman, lifted up her palm to just a few inches below the doctor’s face and said, “Well, what you say may be true, but I have one of those too!” 

As you can imagine, the doctor was dumbstruck by the revelation spoken by this healthy, American woman!  I do not remember how he responded, as we laughed and thanked God!   

Our little boy did have some challenges.  Most were outgrown, surgically corrected (minor surgeries thankfully, not serious ones), healed by God, or else David learned to live with them.  Our “preemie” is now 6 feet, 4 inches-- a strikingly handsome, strong, witty, and intelligent 24 year-old. (And, I am not biased one bit!)

David and I both have suffered illness.  God’s plan was for His to be healed, for the most part.  Mine is a different plan, thus far. 

Yet, in both, as in all, we are to take every diagnosis, and every dire circumstance with a grain of salt.  Simply, we must never discount God at work in and through all our circumstances, ill or well, sorrow or joy.

As I reflect upon this, this scripture is whispered into my soul--

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!...The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious 
about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  
Phil 4:4, 5b - 7  Today's NIV

Until Next Monday, God is near, and He cares about your pain. 
So do I. 



  1. Just love being able to roll your posts over to my f/b wall because I know many folks deal with pain. You are a great witness and role model for them. Hope you are recovering from the broken rib!

  2. I don't know if I'm that great of a witness or role model, because I surely have my bad days..sometimes weeks! However, God has given me this call to share the little I have learned along the way, from Him. I am glad it helps.

    p.s. My ribs are recovering from my bike accident...guess you read about that on my facebook--thanks!

  3. Also, CA- I so enjoy your blog too! I hope others here are going to it regularly!