Running with Stanley…

The last several posts I have written about speak to Janet’s improved sight and her childlike wonder at how things have improved for her. Not that we don’t deal with infirmities, but in general, life is pretty good. For the first time this year, Janet and I attended an outdoor symphony at Conner Prairie Friday evening and sat as we listened to the music of Queen, performed live by a tribute band in conjunction with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

We have been visiting Conner Prairie ever since 1982 when we moved here and now we live just minutes from this incredible living museum that also holds a summer concert series on its vast lawn along the White River in Fishers, Indiana. Each year we look forward to the various shows and usually buy a package of tickets so we have the freedom to attend as many times as we like. So it was great to get back out on the “Prairie” and see our first show this year, especially having missed most of last season with my leg injury. In fact, we only went once in 2018 and only for a very short time once we were there.

So Friday evening was something of a celebration. We arrived, set up our chairs and listened to the first half of the program. At intermission, I got up to walk all the way down to the stage on the sloped lawn and by the time that I got there, I was tired… It’s still very difficult for me to navigate uneven surfaces and I have to be very careful where and how I walk. With more than a year behind me since the surgery to repair my ruptured quad tendon, I would have thought I would have improved more than I have. Maybe I have an unrealistic expectation, but I certainly am not back to where I was before I was injured. And let’s face it – it is a little embarrassing to keep having to move over to the side to let people pass so I didn’t create a human traffic jam behind me.

Doctors have told me that it will take another year or so for me to regain whatever strength I will eventually have, but I am anxious to be back to “normal.” I know that my leg is still weak and the thought wouldn’t even cross my mind to run, or jog. Not that I am built for speed or anything, but I would like to at least know that the option is there for me should I choose to try…

I do, however, have it better than some of our family members. Polio has been a disease that has affected several people in the family. When I first met Dr. Stanley Toussaint, my Dad’s first cousin, who taught at Dallas Theological Seminary, I knew that he suffered from polio since he was a small child. One day, he just couldn’t walk, and throughout his life, although he improved, he always dealt with the issue of being dependent on canes or other walking aids to help him get around. Eventually, he used a motorized scooter and several years ago, he finally passed away.

I remember during our conversations how he said that he couldn’t wait to get to heaven because then he would have a new body and be able to run again, something he had been unable to do since he was a boy. I reflected on that for quite some time, never really having experienced a physical limitation like that. Last year was the closest I have ever come – and this past Friday evening I was once again reminded that I really am not very agile at this point and my knee isn’t that dependable.

So it occurs to me that the next time I jog, or run with wild abandon, I may be in the presence of God in heaven. Stanley certainly believed that we would get new bodies and the apostle Paul did also. In fact, tonight’s verse is one that reminds us of the new bodies that we will each have once we end this physical life. Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, ” So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

We can depend on the promises of God. And we can be encouraged by the fact that God rejoices in our joy when we are in His presence. I hope that God experiences joy when He sees us in His will worshipping and glorifying Him. My prayer is that we will be ever mindful that the bodies we have now are temporary and, while we are to take care of them, our future bodies will be glorious and not suffer from the earthly trials and tribulations we now have. Come to think of it, I look forward to running with Stanley. I finally understand why it was so important to him… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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