When I went off to hospital again, two weeks ago, I was bundled into an ambulance, with barely all my clothes on: As Molly said later "with no books, no Bible, no pens, no paper." And of course, no access to family visitors who were not even allowed in the hospital.
My life was in a quarantine section, where nurses and doctors came in with face masks, shields, hoods, gloves, gowns to do the necessities, fleeing as soon as their tasks were accomplished. It felt like visitors from another world - Mars, or beyond.
I'm one who thinks through his writing. So, thinking itself was hard work - resulting in too much television, too much day-dreaming, probably even too much sleep. Though that part was good, in the dark of the night.
I was there for returning pneumonia, but I walked into the cornavirus lockdown, which changed everything: no walks in the halls, no casual conversations with staff. But rather, the inward-turning of self reflection, including, in various ways, death itself.
When doctors brought up NO RESUSCITATION wishes, my answer was certain and sure: "I want to live, as long as I can, and still be useful. I'm not ready to have you let me go."
Perhaps I was too quick to claim life. After all, I'm not Caleb, or Abraham. And Jesus Himself had only 30 years of His life and work on earth!
I cling to the dear wife and family God has given me. But, I cling to Jesus, too, and know I am in His hands - as is Molly, and each of our children. And, a host of friends in Christ, dear companions on the Great Journey Road with Him.
Gradually, I see the self-centeredness of that, and try as I can to let go, and give my life totally to my Lord, for what ever He has for me.
I love life, and people, and the surprises God gives every day. I am grateful for the love of God, and the love of so many who are my companions on the Way.
I was given a virus test early on in my hospital stay, but, as days passed it became probable that, likely having been sent to Utah, it could have been lost. Finally, they gave me a second test, which proved negative. Doctors and nurses were glad to aid and abet my departure, which allowed me to resume a 4-week treatment program at the Invasion Center, where I sit for some hours receiving steroid treatment, aimed to send my old age chronic leukemia back into remission. The side effects got to me, but I pray to be stronger for the next rounds. Such wonders the good doctors have for me. I am so grateful. And for the healing touch of Jesus, the Great Physician.
And you know, so goes life in the last chapter. So much we don't know about what waits for us just ahead. The challenges are new, and all unexpected. It is a kind of "far country," where rivers bend, and hills are steep, and friends are ever dearer, and days are more beautiful, and we learn to hope.
Something sent to our hearts to help us through these pandemic days of distancing, washing hands and cleaning surfaces, and living close at home and distant outside.
Hugs will return, along with hope, and life, better than ever, will go on. We grow together. Bless you all.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES