Job Lite

This, as well as being, in some ways, an update on my post for Friday last, was also, originally intended to be the basis of my Thought for the Day tomorrow morning... but it is of such epic length (reading a little like a "Book of Job Lite") I couldn't see any way of reducing it to the requisite 2 minutes and 30 seconds... So thought I'd post it here anyway as a form of catharsis...
Is being accident-prone hereditary? The experiences of my eldest son and I might suggest that it is… Especially this year… Since January we’ve had a number of sport-related injuries (nothing new to us, they've just happened slightly more frequently than usual)… First I cracked a rib at football, then a rugby scrum collapsed on him injuring his neck and shoulders… in March I was only back at football 2 weeks when someone kicked my in the back of the calf rupturing the muscle… 
But the real fun and games began four weeks ago… I’d said on Thought for the Day that morning that I had dropped him off for his Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition… Well, later that day I got a phonecall asking us to come pick him up from the Mournes as he had injured himself… A combination of falling in a boulder field and subsequently taking his rucksack off had caused a posterior dislocation of his right shoulder (and yes, he is right-handed)… 
Thankfully they were able to put it back in that night in A&E at the Ulster, and they discharged him in a wrap-around master/Lancaster sling… However, over the next few days he developed tonsillitis, necessitating the prescription of oral antibiotics, but before he got those into him his vomiting caused him to dislocate his shoulder again. It was then reset under general anaesthetic and placed in a very interesting piece of almost architectural plaster work… 
One week on, however, it seemed as if it had slipped again… so the orthopaedic consultant sent him for an MRI in preparation for more radical surgery… But while being placed on the bed for the MRI he felt the shoulder click back into place… And sure enough, when the results came back, everything was where it should be, if a little bruised and bent out of shape, and the operation was off, at least for the time being… But back on went the so-called "airplane cast"... 
Then, over the weekend he started to develop a fever again, and his ear started to ache before starting to discharge some truly foul stuff… The out-of-hours doctor thought he had ruptured his eardrum and that it might be caused by a peri-tonsillar abscess and so prescribed another course of oral antibiotics, but he started to throw up again, rendering them useless. He was then admitted on Sunday, in order to administer IV antibiotics, sickness-suppressants and fluids... Thankfully he didn't throw out his shoulder again, and a visit to the ENT clinic revealed that he hasn't (yet) ruptured his eardrum. They suggested that the blisters around the eardrum which had caused the pain and discharge, may be due to infected tonsils, but it is more likely given that they noted a depression in the aural nerve function, that it is actually a result of shingles…
So we have a boy with shingles, facing surgery on both his shoulder and his tonsils at as yet undetermined times in the near future. Add the fact that he was supposed to be starting his AS levels on Friday, with, ironically, the long-term aim of becoming a doctor, and you find a boy who isn’t a happy camper…
Indeed he said to me over the weekend… 
 "Dad!? You know the way people say that God won't give you any more than you can carry!? Do you think he's got me mixed up with someone else?" 
Hard question to answer… And the Bible doesn’t offer any easy answers to the issue of suffering… As a family we've seen enough of real suffering on the part of others to prevent us asking "Why us?" for fear of hearing the answer "Why not you?"
On Sunday evening Sally was due to speak at a service of prayer for healing which I was to lead... but because, ironically, she herself wasn't feeling well (she was and is barking like a bull-seal) and we couldn't both desert the boys, I said I would "throw something together."
I spoke from a passage that came immediately to mind, in John's Gospel, where Jesus and his disciples encounter a man born blind:
His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?""Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."
John 9:2-3 (ANIV)
Was it the fault of this man or his parents?
Our response to suffering and illness is to seek someone to blame, whether it be with ambulance chasing, no-win-no-fee lawyers advertised incessantly on TV, or people blaming themselves. But here we find that Jesus isn't interested in the blame game... but in healing and salvation. And in this particular healing Jesus got his hands dirty to achieve his ends, conjuring up a healing balm with spit and mud.
In Christ and his cross we remember that God doesn’t just look on a suffering world from a safe distance, but gets his hands dirty and bloodied, sharing in human suffering and death, in order to redeem and conquer it…
And so, I’m thankful, not just for the National Health Service and those who have tended to us through it, for an understanding school who are doing all they can for my son’s well-being, and countless friends supporting us in prayer and in practical ways… But for a God who truly does understand...
The prophet Habakkuk once wrote in a time of national calamity: 
Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
Habakkuk 3: 17-18 
I’m not sure how I would paraphrase that to fit our own situation at present, so I’ll simply say “Amen!” Whilst praying that things turn around soon…

(ps. Got stung on the head by a wasp as I left the hospital this afternoon... so it hasn't turned around just yet!)

Shalom

Comments

Tonsillitis said…
God is kind, people need to be good always.
Tonsillitis said…
the cause of tonsillitis were viral or bacterial infection...
pr check said…
nice article i enjoy reading it... keep on posting

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