from place to place, not in agony but rather with the kind of nagging awareness of the disintegration of my right knee over the past few years, there are times when I wish I could be one of those fortunate souls that is miraculously healed.
I imagine standing at the Liturgy or in some moment of prayer and feeling something change, a warmth maybe or some kind of sign and then feeling the pain disappear with the later befuddled confirmation of my doctor via MRI. I know it can happen. I believe it can happen. There’s still time before my operation in October for it to happen. Yet, it hasn’t happened.
It’s not that I haven’t thought of bargaining with God or one of the Saints about this. I have. It’s also not that the whole thing hasn’t been frustrating at times. It has. I’ve had doctors shove needles deep into my knee with chemicals they hoped would help. I’ve had moments when I felt the whole thing on the verge of giving way. Sometimes its even hard to find a way to hold my legs in place to sleep. If there was a test to see how much ibuprofen was in my blood I’d be interested in seeing the results. How wonderful it would be, I think at times, if one day, one moment, God would grant the mercy of a miraculous healing to me and I wouldn’t have to face surgery, weeks of rehab, and the realization that in 10 or 15 years I may have to do it all over again when the replacement needs replacing.
Still, I have no intention of cursing God and dying. My osteoarthritic knee is a reminder of my own aging and mortality and I need that from time to time to help sort out the really important things from the junk. My bum knee has also made me much more aware of the reality of life for many of the Seniors I serve in my “day job.” It’s one thing to theorize about their pain and challenges and it’s quite another to have a little direct experience. It’s also a great reminder to try to stay in some kind of reasonable shape if, for nothing else, to just be able to walk.
Still, I miss dancing and I don’t like being weak from time to time. I regret not making better use of those days when all was well. Sometimes, it just stinks for no reason in particular and my patience with the whole thing can quickly wear thin. As the date for surgery looms closer and I’m really not looking forward to those days when I’ll need to force myself into therapy and be stuck at home while the rest of the world goes by.
So yes, I suppose there is still time for a miracle. Yet God will also be with me in all the times ahead, a presence I don’t deserve yet one freely given to me out of a love beyond my depth and that, in itself, is a miracle I’m already experiencing whether or nor the unction “takes” in the way I had hoped.