Sunday, April 27, 2008

I toed you!

I was in junior high the first time it happened. My cousin Michelle was chasing me with a water gun through the house when I raced through the bathroom door and crushed my left ring (?) and pinkie toes on the doorway. The pain still haunts me today. My ring toe has not been perfectly straight since. The injury left the top of my foot black and blue for weeks. Fortunately it was summer time so I was able to walk around with only a sock on my left foot for a few weeks. These were the days when you only went to the doctor for serious injuries or illnesses...or at-least that's how it was in my family. I have no doubt even to this day that something was broken but the line I got from my parents was "There's nothing they can do for a toe" and so on I went with my own treatment and NO sympathy from friends or family.

Saturday morning was gorgeous in Texas. We were getting ready for a productive day...there were even discussions about going to Home Depot for some Bermuda grass plugs. My 3 year old daughter had crawled under the piano bench and I looked at her like I was going to race in the other room to I raced into the kitchen...changed my mind at the last minute to take a right and circle around through the dining room so that I could sneak behind her...and then, it happened. As soon as I hit my toe on the kitchen chair, I knew I had stubbed it pretty good so I stopped to look...but I was in for a big surprise. You know, how when you hurt yourself you go through that initial time of wondering if it, whatever you hurt, is broken. Well, there was no doubt that my left toe was broken when I looked down and discovered it completely bent to the if it wasn't really even part of my foot anymore. My toe nail was bleeding too. Amazingly it really didn't hurt that bad but something was clearly I called for Kerry and told her that we need to go to the toe was broken...all the while my 3 year old asking to see my broken toe..."do you need a new one?"...Kerry came down the stairs asking what happened and how it happened....about that time the only thing I could think about was the fact that my toe would have to be which point I started feeling faint....So there I was feeling sick, laying on our living room floor, impatiently waiting for my wife to get the kids ready for a trip to the no one was taking my injury seriously once again... I'm hurt; we're supposed to leave right away! By this time it was 8:15. We drove around to several places but made our way back to the original office because it was the first to open--at 9am. Why wasn't the whole world stopping for my injury? We discussed what to do with the 45 minutes. I didn't want to go home. My wife didn't want to sit in the parking lot...our youngest was due for her first nap at 9am...there was no way they were going inside the clinic where sick people linger... So, there I was, 30 minutes before the office opened, sitting outside on the sidewalk waiting for it to open...feeling sorry for myself....NO sympathy once again!

Several other patients pulled up about 15 minutes early. Boy was I glad to be by the door to be the first patient seen. As soon as the nurse sees my toe she'll rush me straight back. At 9am, the other patients started heading to the door so I stood up and hobbled my way to be the first in line. Seeing my injury you would think that someone would hold the door for, I almost got run was as if they were disappointed that I might make their wait lady even asked after I checked in if the doctor would be able to see her earlier than her 9:30 appointment because her son (who didn't even appear sick-had on a baseball uniform) had a birthday party to go to...the nurse said sure... I thought great, they'll get to ME really quick then! Nope, they called the boy and his mom back right away...and then the other lady that came in after me...and then the other man that came after her...and on...and on...and on. I finally got up and was vocal about the fact that though I didn't register on the Internet (which they had apparently done), I was SITTING OUTSIDE 30 minutes before you opened and wasn't aware of the Internet registration possibility...Meanwhile people in the waiting room who at most had minor colds and had registered on line looked at my foot in disgust just before they being called back...but did any of them offer for me to take their spot, NO...did the office rearrange things to let the guy in pain go before the dolled up sick people talking about the HGTV show on the wide screen TV, another BIG NO... By this time I'm feeling like I did in Junior High...NO guy even came in for stitches, his wife all hysterical as if he needed immediate help...but it wasn't bleeding anymore and didn't look all that bad...he just had a little tissue paper over it for goodness my mind I clearly had the worst injury...

So, I was finally called back and the care was great. It turned out that my toe was dislocated in two places and fractured enough that the doctor thinks I will need a pin. Finally, some confirmation!! Finally, some sympathy!! He re-set my toe, which totally sucked and injected me with some pain medicine. The office only had a women's large orthopedic shoe and pink there I was with my toes wrapped in pink gauze and hanging off the shoe...slowly feeling the effects of the drugs...waiting on the sidewalk again for my wife to pick me up...

My wife has been great...even drove downtown for a men's large orthopedic shoe and white gauze...although I'm a little worried that I won't be able to milk this for much long as I "deserve"...

The moral of the story?! As my friend Mike texted me after I texted him in the doctors office seeking some sympathy... "I toed you not to run in the house!" No sympathy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


That is what my wife will be screaming in about 12 hours. It'll likely be a late night of frantic packing for her (hopefully not for me too, but something tells me I won't get much sleep tonight) as she prepares to head out for 4 days on her long awaited girls weekend with 4 friends from high school, junior high even.

I will have the kids, but there's still a sense of freedom that I will get to enjoy since my parents are in town for 2 of the 4 days...but not to the extent she will I got to thinking about what I would do if I had 4 days on my own. One of my buddies at school is enjoying bachelorhood while his wife is out of town for two weeks. He doesn't have kids so another lunch buddy and I were living vicariously through him and giving him a list of things he must do on our behalf.

Here's my list:
-I would eat whatever I wanted. It wouldn't have to "go together" or vary in color in order to get all of the essential vitamins. I would just eat all of my favorites at the same and and ice and french and Funyuns...
-I would eat in front of the t.v. You lose this privilege with kids to avoid the stains they would make on the couch.
-I would dedicate one entire day to trilogies like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, God Father (that I have actually never seen), etc. Maybe a little Tombstone and Braveheart to finish it off. ...all viewed in the comfort of my own pjs...
-I would go to bed late and sleep late and nap on the couch between movies.
-I would blare music and sing and dance like there was no tomorrow!
-After a day or two of being alone, I would invite my friends over for more pizza and cards until about 12 when this old man needs to go to bed. We would just have to get an early start.
-I would go camping with my friends and stay up late talking politics and theology and women...things my girls hate for me to talk about... We would have all the world's problems solved by sun-up.
-I would go mountain biking...

And then after about 4 days, I would be begging for my girls back!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Obama and Rev. Wright

I've been thinking a lot about the Presidential campaign. Here is my perspective on Obama and Rev. Wright.

My thoughts center around what I consider to be the crux of Obama's speech regarding the controversy over Rev. Wright. The crux of his speech didn't occur in my opinion when Obama rejected Rev. Wright's view of America (because there were many qualifiers to that rejection throughout the speech), rather when Obama clarified his stance by stating (basically) that he cannot reject the man Rev. Wright just like he cannot reject his white grandmother who locked her doors when African American males came near (I paraphrase).

I know where Obama was going with that comparison but I don't think it's convincing enough. After all, in my opinion, any elderly women who locks her doors when she senses danger is nothing but smart. There is however a much better analogy that Obama could have drawn that would have closed the deal for me (and possibly others) better than a comparison of his grandmother and Mr. Wright. In fact, that comparison was actually a little like comparing apples to oranges. The better analogy to draw is the fact that many Southerners are against slavery now, but won't reject their ancestors because they had slaves. They might reject slavery, but not their ancestors as a whole. I have ancestors who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. I do not reject their service. I know enough to know that many people fought in the Civil War for many different reasons. Robert E. Lee was after all against slavery and secession yet still led the Army of Northern Virginia. I won't get too specific, but I have people in my life of all races whom I love dearly yet I know they are racist. I have heard them making what some would consider racist comments, but I, like Obama will not reject them. I won't reject them because they are for the most part wonderful people who have loved me and inspired me with other characteristics. I reject their racism, openly, but not the whole person. Let's not forget about people like Martin Luther whose entire life and ministry should not be vilified because of anti-Semitic statements he made late in life. Those statements should be rejected, but not the man. No way. He's done too much good for the world. Who among us isn't flawed in some way?

In the end, after a little introspection, I agree with Obama's stance. If Obama feels that Rev. Wright, like all of us is flawed, but on the whole a good man, then I have no problem with Obama standing by the man.

Of course, evil racists like Hitler don't apply to this rationale because they are by definition evil to the core with no good in them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Visiting Churches

We've been visiting churches in our (sort of new) community recently. Some recent reading about contextualization on other blogs got me thinking further about our experiences. One particular church has wonderful theology. The people are wonderful and they faithfully preach the gospel. The problem I have with the church is that the worship service is very "traditional" as in robes, hymns, psalter, kids in service, etc. It's too small a church for me to consider it high worship, although it technically is. Worst of all for us is that the service is 1 hr 45 minutes long. I can't pay attention that long, much less my 3 year old. When I'm in the worship service, I feel like (based on my background) that I'm in a foreign they are trying to take me back to old Europe when I live in a suburb of Dallas, Texas in 2008. I know all the theological reasons for why they make the choice in worship that they make. I know that they sincerely don't want to "water down" the wonder of the gospel and worship of Christ by turning it into a performance. I CAN appreciate that but every time I visit I can't help but feel like they don't care about me or the culture that I/we live in...not unlike some people from other countries might feel when someone brings American traditions to their country. In light of the need for contextualization (making the gospel relevant), I can't help but be concerned when a church ignores the culture of the community around them. They just seem so confined by unnecessary rules. Could a new believer survive in that environment? How many more people could they reach with the beautiful news if they made the service more relevant (by that I don't mean seeker sensitive)? We may end up at this church because of the many other positive aspects...but it'll be a hill to climb. Where am I wrong?

A good article on contextualization from the authority on the subject, Tim Keller, can be found by clicking here.