Each Wednesday for a number of years now at our local church there has been a noon healing service. I used to serve at the altar for these services each week. Yesterday, I realized it was eighteen months – a year and a half – since I had been able to do that, because of the stroke that hit me. That came on a Friday. eighteen months ago tomorrow.

As we sat down to have supper together last night, Melanie was looking at her calendar. “Where does the time go?” she wondered aloud. I found myself thinking of Job’s words.

Job 1:21 The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

This week Melanie tried a new way of helping me to learn to walk again. She had me stand behind her, let go of my walker, and place my hands on her shoulders for support. As she slowly and carefully took a few steps, I followed behind, steadying myself with touching her but supporting my weight on my legs. I didn’t fall down (we’re both thankful).

She mentioned it on her Facebook post that night. The next day we discovered a note from one of the first therapists who worked with me at the Joy Fuller rehab center at the Winter Haven hospital eighteen months ago. Erin said what Melanie was trying was a “great idea for the walking.” Melanie just beamed reading that. I pray often that the Lord will show Melanie something about my recovery progress to encourage her.

The Lord takes away, and then the Lord gives. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Last Sunday the bishop visited our church. In the past, as a deacon, I’d served with him at the altar when he visited. Not now. Melanie and I were sitting in our newLaura Lee Melanie Rick 350w current spot, on the back pew. Suddenly, before the service began, the bishop’s dear wife came over to see us and visit. Moments later, the bishop himself came over. He said he wanted to anoint me with oil and pray for me.  I was almost in tears, surprised and grateful at their presence on such a busy morning. We had come to give our attention to the Lord. He was giving back.

The Lord takes away, and then the Lord gives. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

I have not had a normal meal in a year and a half. The stroke damaged my swallow reflexes. Melanie has been pouring nutrition down a tube punctured in my side to my stomach four times a day. I have carefully, cautiously been trying to relearn to swallow food. If I could do that, the stomach tube could be removed. I would be able to hug Melanie again.

This week, as part of our continued testing, she bought a taco from Taco Bell and “emulsified” it (beat it into soup). I took small sips of it through a straw. The flavors came back to me. The next day I had her mix a little salsa into it and finished it with no choking. Tacos are not meant to be eaten that way. But it still tasted good, eighteen months later.

The Lord takes away, and then the Lord gives back. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Before, during, and always.

About Deacon Rick

I am a retired Deacon in Lakeland Florida.
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One Response to Eighteen

  1. Ed Headington says:

    God bless you RIck. We hope you know how much Kathy and I love you and Melanie.

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