Monday, April 28, 2008

Once Upon a Time - Like Last Month

I promise this is true.

One year ago, I began physical therapy for some back pain I was having. The pain was really getting worse and I finally gave in and began PT, which in Brazil is an endless endeavor.

Anyway, so I worked hard and STR-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-ECHED and really enjoyed getting to know my physical therapist who, I thought for awhile there, was going to get saved in the process. BUT,

I spent so much time on her treadmill I got hip bursitis. This happened in September and I got really discouraged. I couldn't do anything, it was pretty much all I could do to hobble around and get my work done at home. My back was feelling somewhat better, but my hip was ruining any joy I had in that.

Months went by.

In November, I really began to discuss this seriously with God. One day, I was praying about it and I heard Him say, "You need to clean your own house."

Of course, I thought He was talking about the falling US dollar and the ever-increasing amount of money I pay to have a lady once a week clean the house. With a move to the South of Brazil and the fall of the dollar, my ability to support a widow and her family of four on Coke money and pocket change was gone.

I thought God was just changing the subject on me. BUT, I wasn't sure.

See, the main reason I still had a maid was that I was afraid to try and keep my own house. I was afraid I couldn't do it because of my back. My mom had given me a little booklet in which the author says God told her to clean her own house and not use her health as an excuse not to. SO,

I decided that, as soon as my hip was better, I would clean my own house. Anyway, all my maid's other employers were at the beach for the Dec-Feb summer, and she was totally dependent on me for her income in those months.

I changed doctors (twice), changed physical therapists (twice), and took a series of injections for the bursitis. Some small progress was made, but I finally gave up on all of them. By mid-March, it seemed I would have to clean my own house in pain. I told the maid how much I liked her, how pleased I was with her work, and blamed it all on the value of the dollar (remember, I still thought God had changed the subject on me).

The following week, armed with a new ironing board, US-branded cleaning products, and MUCH prayer, I set out to clean my own house. This was also the day the last of the injections wore off.

The first day of cleaning (it takes three mornings and one evening to clean the apartment--things get dirtier here), my hip pain went totally and completely away.

Gone. Completely Gone.

That was March 20 or so.

Hasn't been back since.

I feel like Naaman.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm From Delaware

OK, so I'm not really. . . just married into it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Once Upon a Time - Readiness

In my first ministry job, I had an office mate. Now this guy was INCREDIBLY BLUNT. He said exactly what he was thinking, all the time, with no flowery words or disclaimers attached. He loved God, he loved people, but he alienated most of them by being so very direct.
I never understood why people got so upset with him. Couldn't they see that he loved God? Couldn't they see that he just wanted the best for them? Didn't they know what scripture said about those who don't listen to criticism?
Anyway, every time Al corrected me, I listened, examined, prayed and, frequently, changed.
One day we were working late and I was telling Al the latest saga of my adventures as a CSDS (Christian Single Desperately Searching).
"Cam, you are so manipulative." He went on to point out how this is sin.
"No," I responded, "I'm not! I'm not at all manipulative." I then went on to explain, in depth, how very UN-manipulative I was.
Nevertheless, I took his words to heart and went home for prayer and self-examination. After MUCH prayer, and MUCH self-examination. I decided that he was really off-target and there was NO TRUTH WHATSOEVER in that particular rebuke.
Twelve years later, I was doing some mindless task at home and reminiscing on my days as a CSDS. Absentmindedly, I found myself thinking, "WOW, I was SO manipulative back then!"
Oh, my goodness. Al was right!
Why hadn't I seen it then?
The answer: I just wasn't ready to.