Thursday, March 08, 2012

A letter to my sister before her radical sinus surgery.

Sister, I’m sorry about the upcoming surgeries.  Sounds really daunting.  I, too, am one who has undergone unpleasant surgeries.  Here are a couple of tips to add some color to the whole experience:
1. Take a whole bottle of laxatives 30 min. before surgery. Doing so will give the nurses something else to do besides commenting on the enormity of your nose. ( Oops! did I say bad... I meant normalcy.)  And the laxative effect will keep the surgery moving right along.  No dawdling.

2. Shove some limburger cheese as far up your nostrils as you can.  It'll give the event the flavor of a treasure hunt not unlike trying to find what is stinking up your refrigerator. 

Hope those help turn the experience to a zany experience for the surgeons and staff.  Too bad you'll be asleep and won’t hear the laughter and gratitude expressed by all involved.

Now on a more serious comment, I want to share some little known Biblical facts that might be a great motivator to endure these "light and momentary" troubles. (For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. II cor. 4:17)

You see, the word sinus is really a transliteration of the Hebrew word Sinai.  The OT instance during which Moses climbed Mt Sinai is based on an incident during which Moses got drunk and pushed an olive pit way up his nose and then couldn't dislodge it.  He had an enormous nose.  No one had the huevos to mention it except the sons of Korah who were eventually swallowed by the earth. (Numbers 25: 8-10)  Anyway, references to climbing Mt Sinus (Sinai) were used (mostly by the sons of Korah) to refer to Moses' battle to get the olive pit out of his nose.  No one wanted to be around when he was in full battle mode with the pit so the people would rope off an area around him so others wouldn't get too close to the epic battleground.  Eventually (here's where it applies to your situation) Moses got so desperate that he took a shard from a broken clay pot (In his state of panic he didn’t notice that the shard was from a chamber pot) and went up Mt Sinai for the final attempt to defeat the cursed pit.  The pain was so intense that Moses began to hallucinate and believed he was talking to God.  Thus the Tem Commandments. He also shouted out the score from the 1991 Super bowl during which Buffalo lost at the last second because Kicker Scott Norwood missed a field goal. Go figure.  Anyway, Moses was always angry from then on for his entire life.  Partly at himself for using a shard from a chamber pot to dig out the olive pit and partly at everything and everyone else.  The hair in Moses' left nostril (the one with the olive pit and the stinking chamber pot shard) died and never grew back which gave him a sort of scary look.  He even wore a veil most of the time from then on whenever there were plenary sessions that required his attendance.  In his anger he broke the first set of stone tablets shouting in anger:  "This is all God has to say?  Everyone knows these; they're simplistic, open to all kinds of misinterpretation, and boring."  That very night he dreamed about American evangelicals and it became clear to him why they would need a simplistic set of commandments, commandments that wouldn't interfere with their consumerist view of life and the church.  So he had a six year old girl re-write them and he made sure he referenced them in detail in the Bible he was working on.
Moses was always angry - whacking stuff with his staff, creating snake plagues, etc., plus he looked like an idiot with that black sheave of hair growing out only one nostril.  Thus when it came time to enter the promised land, God said, "I don't want some crazy, one nostril haired, angry madman to lead my people at this time.  So he picked Joshua, who had balanced nostril hair, wasn't really angry with anyone and was really photogenic, to lead the Israelites into the promised land.

Just in case you missed the subtlety of my story here, let me make it plain.  You can't be a prophet and get favored appointments if your nostrils and Sinai are all messed up.  God doesn't want unseemly prophets.  So that’s what Paul was referring to about the light and momentary trouble (the Greek word for trouble really means excruciating pain) you have to endure to be a proper prophet.  But it’s really worth it, really.  So I am praying that you make a full recovery and are able to someday stand with other great men, prophets of God who.....oh no…wait! you're a woman, aren't you.  Oh man I'm really sorry, I totally blanked on that piece of’re toast as a prophet… you'll still be blackballed from getting to lead groups anywhere of significance..I feel terrible for building your hopes...well, you’ll be able to be a terrific help meet.  That'd be sort of cool as long as you didn't have a lot of  kids...Oh there I go again...I'm sorry Sis... Still, I think it would be helpful if you got through the surgery OK, with minimum pain.  Don't get mad though whatever you do.  If you go around like an eternally menopausal crazy woman, your friends might rope you off and isolate you....Oh yeah, your elders already did that...never mind then.

I will keep praying, dear sister; I love you very much and hope these surgeries turn out to be really helpful. (This was a serious sentence, in case you were wondering.)

Brother Stan