Sunday, April 23, 2006

tonight, on a very special episode of musings...

pastor phil wyman of the gathering, which is a sister community of sinners and saints and was, until the recent inquisition, a four square gospel church, would like to share a few words.

Krishna, Hospital Visits, Preachers, and Dictionaries for France

I don't like places which have too many things happening at the same time. It makes my brain slow down. When my brain goes slow, my body goes slow too. What is even worse is when I am in a place with too many things, and big words I don't understand. When that happens it is like when my wife asks me to do more than one thing at the same time. I have to ask her to put it on a list, because a list is just one thing, and I can do a list, because it is one thing.

Last week my son went to the hospital. His name is Elijah, and I don't have any other sons - or daughters either. Some people have more than one, but like God I only have one.

I don't like hospitals when someone in my family is in them, because they are busy, and in hospitals people say things I don't understand. Then my brain goes slow, and so does my body. Somebody should do something to make
hospitals easier. I think that there should be a hospital dictionary, like the dictionaries for people who go on vacation to France.

This is how Elijah got to the hospital: Elijah's left eye became blurry in the peripheral vision, over the course of a day or two. The peripheral vision is that place on the side which you can't really look at, because once you try to look at it, it isn't on the side any more. Apparently, when your peripheral vision gets blurry suddenly your eye is telling you that something is wrong,
like when the airplane on the way to France makes a strange new noise.

Elijah called his friend Jim Trick. Jim is a another musician, a preacher, and an optometrist. That's a lot of different things to be. I wonder if Jim goes slow in a hospital like I do. I don't think so, because he can do all those smart things. Elijah is a musician too, but he's not a preacher, or an optometrist. I am a musician, and a preacher too, but I'm not an optometrist either. Maybe
if I was an optometrist I'd like hospitals better, because they would make sense to me, and I would be someone who could do many things at once.

Being a musician and a preacher is not really very different. They both get up in front of people and talk, and sing about stuff. The musician can sing about any kind of stuff, but the preacher only has to talk about God stuff, so he
doesn't have to be as smart. He only talks about one thing. Then again God is a big thing to talk about, so maybe we have to be a little smart about one big thing.

Jim Trick sent Elijah to a Doctor. The Doctor was very nice, and saw Elijah that same day even though he was busy. He looked at Elijah's eyes. He said that Elijah needed to go to the emergency room at the hospital.

The Doctor's name is Krishna Gaddipati. He is Indian - from India, not from a reservation in America. He is an opthamologist. Opthamologists go to school for a long time to learn to look at eyes. So he is smart, and probably doesn't go slow in hospitals, because he does surgery on people's eyes, and he probably doesn't need a dictionary for the words. He probably knows
them all by heart.

Elijah went to the emergency room, just like Dr. Krishna said. They checked his blood pressure. They told Elijah's wife Rhonda to fill out the paperwork for him, and they took Elijah back into the emergency ward.

Elijah did not have to wait to be helped by the doctors. No waiting is usually good, but now I know that it's not always good at the emergency ward.

Elijah's blood pressure was 209 over 125. People have strokes when their blood pressure is 209 over 125. When they write out the blood pressure it looks like this... 209/125 mmHg. MmHg is millimeters of mercury. The hospital used to use a machine called a sphygmomanometer, but that was a long time ago. Mercury would rise by millimeters in a long thin tube to tell
how strong someone's blood pressure was. Today they use electronic devices and blood pressure cuffs with no long, thin mercury tubes. But I had to read about that after the visit to the hospital.

Elijah was sitting in a little room with three walls, and a curtain for another wall, but the curtain was open. Doctors and nurses came in and went out. There were needles, and Elijah got shots. There were IVs in his right arm. IVs are intravenous tubes which medicine is sent through. Little things called sensors were placed all over his chest. The little sensors were connected to
the machine which said "beep, beep, beep...," and made the wavy lines which tell you if your heart is beating properly. There were doctors saying they were very concerned. They said that young men Elijah's age should not be having problems like this, especially if they don't smoke, drink too much alcohol, or take drugs. Elijah is 21, and he doesn't do those things, so they didn't know what was wrong.

It is not good when the Doctors don't know what is wrong.

Elijah did not know what was happening. Rhonda not did understand what was happening either. So Rhonda called Bev on the phone. Bev is my wife. Bev is a Dental Hygienist. Bev is like Jim Trick. She can do a lot of things. She can play the flute, preach, and do Dental Hygiene too. Playing the flute is not like preaching, because you don't talk, or sing when you do it, and Dental Hygiene is like a hospital kind of thing, except you never have to stay for five days to get it done, but you do have to know big hospital words. So I think that Bev is more comfortable in a hospital than I am. Bev told Rhonda, "I don't clean people's teeth when their blood pressure is 209 over 125." Rhonda cried.

Rhonda cried because she began to understand a little bit. Elijah was not doing well. He was very sick, and this was strange. It was strange, because Elijah looked and acted healthy. The only things wrong were that he had headaches, and blurry vision in the part of his left eye which you can't see when you are trying to look straight at it, and his blood pressure was 209/125 mmHg.

209 is the systolic pressure. Systole is when the left ventricle of the heart pumps and makes the most pressure on the blood vessels. The word systolic comes from systole. A ventricle is one of the little rooms in the heart, but it is not one of the rooms which preachers talk about when they say that we try to keep God from certain rooms in our hearts. The ventricle is just a place for the blood to go in, and then to get pumped back out, and I don't think that we can pump God out. The left ventricle pushed hard enough to rupture some blood vessels in Elijah's eyes, and that's why Dr. Krishna sent Elijah to the hospital. Dr. Krishna knew something was wrong with Elijah's blood pressure. He knew that Elijah could have lost his eyesight permanently, or
had a stroke, or any number of other bad things which happen when your blood pressure is 209/125 mmHg.

Rhonda filled out paperwork while Elijah had needles, and IVs put in has arm. The hospital was a new place to Rhonda. But not a new exciting place. Some new places are fun. This was not one of those fun, new places. It didn't have a dictionary.

We came to see Rhonda a little bit after Elijah went back into the emergency ward. The hospital was not an exciting new place to us either.

It took a long time for the doctors to bring Elijah's blood pressure down. It was three days later, and then the blood pressure was 120/55 mmHg. That is a normal level, but it only stayed normal when Elijah took pills for his blood pressure. We prayed really hard on the day it went down to 120 over 55. Maybe Jesus heard us, and helped the doctors. Doctors need help from Jesus.

They don't always know what is wrong, but Jesus always knows those things. Maybe Doctors have slow brains in the hospital sometimes too, and that's why preachers like me need to go to the hospital and pray for them.

After five days Elijah was able to go home. That was two days ago. The doctors still don't know what is wrong with Elijah. There will be more tests, and more needles.

In a couple days I think that I'll be better, but right now I'm still going slow in my head. I don't think that I will need needles, or IVs, and that is good, because I think that would make my brain go even slower. My brain should go back to normal on its own.

We are all very thankful for Dr. Krishna, but it is funny that his name is Krishna. I am a Christian, and I believe in Jesus. I don't believe in Krishna. Krishna is a Hindu god, and I am not a Hindu, but the doctor's name is Krishna, and he is not the Hindu god. He is just a good doctor who helped save my son, and only his name is Krishna.

A few months ago I sat in a room with other preachers. They told me that I was not being a good preacher. They said things which were not true, and said that I was aberrant. Aberrant is what someone calls you if they think that your teachings about Christianity are wrong, but they didn't know my teachings. They were only guessing, and they made things up about me. I
still don't know why they made things up, and so my brain went slow for a little while then too.

That meeting was like the hospital. It was not a fun, new place, and people were saying things which I didn't understand. I didn't need a dictionary like the ones which people get when they go to France, because I understood the words, but I did not understand why they said the words they were saying, because I thought that preachers were supposed to say true words, and they were not saying true words about me.

I think that these same people might not understand when I say that Krishna saved my son's life. They might think that I am a Hindu, but I am not a Hindu. I am a Christian, and I know that Jesus saved my son's life, but Jesus used a Doctor named Krishna to help.

I think that it is funny that a Doctor named Krishna helped save my son, but I know that there are some people who aren't funny people, and they wouldn't understand. Maybe they need a dictionary to learn how to be funny, like the dictionaries which people get when they go to France. Maybe someday I'll write a dictionary to help people learn to be funny, but that will have to wait till my brain gets back to normal, and I am not thinking so slow.


g13 said...

i think it's too bad that the international church of the 4 square gospel didn't realize that they had a sanctified david sedaris on their hands.

think about what they're missing out on. i mean, the publishing rights alone...

Mike said...

pastor phil,

i am sorry for all the crazy "ish" that has been flung into the proverbial fan.

i don't know you, but from what the sinners and saints tell me of you you are a good man and a good pastor to your people.

it is at this point that i would like to have some words to comfort or console you. but that is usually where my ability to conjugate verbs, and articulate my thoughts leaves me.

but i will try. i have been fired from a church myself. it was a different situation than yours, i didn't have a family to feed, and i had only invested a year in that church. but even on that scale it sucked. but it was providential and that very day our good friend james called me about another ministry opportunity. granted i had to move 2000 miles, but that turned out to be a good thing as well.

if i hadn't gotten fired i wouldn't have moved to cali and i wouldn't have had the chance to go to canada for two years and have the single greatest ministry experience of my life.

if you can find some kind of comfort in there you are a sharper cat than i am.

god bless, i will keep you in my prayers.

james said...

Thanks for your words in this Fletch. Thanks for your prayerful attention to some of the chaos in these parts. Love you man.

Pastor Phil said...

Hey FletchMike dude,

I'm figuring dude is acceptable terminology for someone who lists surfing near the top of their interests.

Thanks for the distant hugs. I'm not really fired, as much as receiving the left foot of fellowship - the church and I.

Tough time yes, but I've got a touch of gray - I will survive.

"It's a lesson to me, the eagles and the beggars and the seas, The ABC's, we all must face, try to keep a little grace." - Robert Hunter