Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Lessons of the Wounded Knee

There was water in the big black plastic tray under the dog cage. I had washed it the previous night and the water had gathered there. Early morning, I decided to clear the tray. As I carried the heavy tray to the drain, the right side of my Croc sandals got stuck to the rugged floor of the front porch. So it became a 'stumbling block' and I tripped over it. I fell head-on and landed with my head hitting the plastic tray. That somehow cushioned my head from being badly hurt. My two hands were also protected by the tray and so did not get bruised. But the two knees took the rest of the body weight. A jarring pain shot through the left knee, overriding the milder pain on the right knee and my forehead.

A delivery man at the neighbor's house shouted his concern. I got up, very dazed but could stand in spite of the pain. I waved at the concerned delivery man who was already observing me from the front of my gates. My three dogs went berserk and attacked the gates. I was in no mood to call the dogs off. All I wanted to do was to call Grace to help me.

After climbing the impossible staircase, I was safely in bed. Grace was surprised that I fell. She thought that I was joking but she began commanding the pain to go and the injured parts to be healed in the name of Jesus. She is one faithful Elijah Challenger, after having been trained with me by Pastor William Lau. 

After that, she took out her faithful bottle of medicated oil and applied vigorously on the 'blue black' spots. While I was screaming in pain, Grace was laughing. She thought that her husband was such a wonderful actor. All my former jesting and feigning calamities had caused her to think that I was just playing with her. Only when I put on a very serious face and exclaimed that I was not acting but dying of pain, then she finally believed.

For the life of me, I did not realize that knee injury could be so painful. I had not bruised my knees since army days... and that was about forty years ago. I had totally forgotten how such pain felt like. The next pain that I worried was the pain of my wallet. When Grace fell in the toilet, some months ago, and injured her knee, we spent a huge sum for her treatment. And she was no better after that... not until she went to church and was healed by the Lord through the healing commands given by two young believers. In the midst of the pain, I was determined to get well by divine intervention plus whatever intervention my wife lavished at my wounded knee.

While Grace ministered to my injury, I went online with my iPad to ask for prayers and healing commands. In Singlish, (since I am a Singaporean) we say, "Die, die, also must go online!"  Apart from having such attentive wife, I must say that I have many caring Facebook friends and church members. In response to my crisis report, prayers and commands for healing poured in. Grace and I were so touched and moved by their gestures of love.

One FB friend even gave the advice on how to treat swollen knees. He sent the acronym, RICE which stands for "Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevation." After reading this advice, my dear wife sprung into action. The left leg was quickly elevated (with pain and a little bit of complaining) with a host of pillows and the icy compress (made of multiple plastic bags of ice and a towel) was quickly placed on my swollen left knee. 

I couldn't believe it - the icy cold compress did not numb the pain but made it so much worse. It was "killing me softly" just as an old lyric declared. I wanted to take the cold compress off but did not. It wasn't because of my threshold of tolerating pain was high. It was rather the stern look of my wife that made taking the cold compress off undesirable. I was safer enduring the pain than having to face her unhappy stare for the rest of the day.

Thank God that the pain subsequently subsided when I remained still. The swelling went down but my movement still invoked sharp pain. The bladder was not sympathetic and rebelled. It forced me to visit the toilet three times in one hour. So, it was pain, pain and more pain all the way to the toilet. Then pain, pain and more pain back to the bed. The compress was put back again and the whole process was repeated two more times. After that, I had to command all bodily fluid to remain in the body.

After a long rest, the pain is more manageable. I can now hobble around with my old walking stick. The swelling has reduced to a small bump and the pain is only in between the left knee cap and whatever that is inside the knee. The laceration on the right knee was taken care of with antibiotic cream. Now, I can at least sit by the computer and type this blog without feeling much discomfort.

What have I learned from this accident? Well, I thank God for a good spouse and many good friends who care. I also thank God that He had kept me safe during the accident. I could have injured my head or neck because I landed on my forehead first. I learn that every part of the body is so uniquely designed by God that if one small part is hurting, the whole body hurts. 

As a pastor, this reminds of the Church. We should always care for one another. If one of us is hurting, we all should make every effort to care for that hurting individual. Since I did not amputate my left knee just because it hurts badly, so the Church should not quickly 'amputate' any member just because he or she is hurting. We should all seek to heal so that the hurting individual can recover and function normally as God has intended. 

I also learned that even though it was not the knee that tripped over the 'stumbling block' but the foot, the knee took the brunt of the whole fall. In many instances, one family member fails and certain family member or members may take the brunt of the failure. Therefore, we should all be sympathetic and kind. We must never be quick to judge but also be full of the grace of God. When someone is hurting in the Church, we should find out the reason so as to bring healing and cure. It is only through love and care, that the Body of Christ experiences joy and good health.

God bless!

Rev Albert Kang

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