Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Progress Report and Introspection

This is my one-month report. I am amazed at how well my recovery from Bell's palsy has gone. My right eyebrow and forehead work almost the same as they always have. (Downside is, I've lost the Botox effect, and my forehead wrinkles are back.) My eye closes and doesn't dry out at night. The blink reflex is back, but I can't squeeze my eye shut tightly, and the undereye muscles are still weak. My smile looks
almost normal. It's a little lopsided, but I'm probably the only one that could tell. When I laugh reeeeeal hard, it looks strange, because my left eye squints down real small and the right one doesn't. I can't purse my lips all the way on the right side. It's almost there, though, because I can whistle. I can't wrinkle my nose or flare my nostrils. I can't curl my right lip up in an Elvis sneer. I can't wink my right eye. (oh yeah, I never could wink my right eye, only my left!) Now that most of the muscles are working normally, I'm ready to start doing a few gentle facial exercises.

I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth. But I have to wonder why I've been so fortunate to have such a quick recovery. My recovery is one of the faster ones. It wasn't miraculous enough to think that I was "healed" by the blessing I received or the prayers I offered up. Still, the inclination is to say I've been "blessed" or that I am seeing the "tender mercies" of the Lord on my behalf. But when juxtaposed with the horrible tragedy of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, how can I even consider that the Lord was involved? Who am I compared to any of those thousands of people who died or were injured or lost family members or property? Surely not more righteous. Surely not more needed in my family or on earth. Not any more worthy of notice.

My tentative conclusion has to be that we live in these fragile mortal bodies and they are subject to all of the conditions of earthly life. Our bodies are susceptible to disease, they wear out, malfunction, and they also heal and recover. Many conditions affect how well or how poorly they do these things. In like manner, the earth is in constant flux, subject to changing weather and geographical conditions that most likely have nothing to do with Divine interference.

No matter how much I would like someone to persuade me that God has a personal hand in my life, my observations convince me otherwise. I tried really hard to let this Bell's Palsy condition work on me so that I could see some kind of otherworldly influence involved, whether in the causes or healing of it. I tried to let it soften my heart, to turn me to the Lord. I think I wanted this to be my watershed moment. My Saul-on-the-way-to-Damascus conversion. But I am left again in my faithless recreant state.

Well, not exactly FAITHLESS. I have hope that there is a Divine Being. I desire for there to be a God. There could still be a God, one who works within the strictures of a created world. I'm still trying to discover Him, to uncover Him, to know Him. But I'm just not able to force my perfidious mind to believe in miracles I cannot see.


Michael Carpenter said...

BiV, I'm glad to hear that you are making good progress.

J G-W said...

I've been praying for you too, for what it's worth, almost daily.

I too am sometimes baffled by these kinds of questions. What's happening in Japan right now is terrifying and heart-breaking. So maybe human decency requires us to take a more stoical perspective.

Still, embarrassing as it is in some ways to admit it, I believe faith sometimes permits God to intervene.