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Edward Fudge

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

ON THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF MAY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE 2012



HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! -- In the United States, today, May 13, 2012, is a day officially honoring mothers, and we extend the tribute and prayers for blessing to mothers of many varieties around the world. To birth mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, substitute mothers; to single mothers, married mothers, to church mothers and true spiritual mothers -- all women who love and sacrifice and labor and serve children. We salute you and rise up and call you blessed!


MEDICAL UPDATE -- My vocabulary is not large enough to thank you properly for all the e-mails, prayers, personal visits, phone calls, and well-wishes you have poured out on me during the past ten days since two bulging disks in my degenerative lumbar spine decided to occupy some micro-teritory already occupied by nerve roots. The result was excruciating pain when standing with any weight placed on the left leg -- a physically-unpleasant ending to an otherwise wonderful Lecture week at Pepperdine University, highlighted by getting to meet many gracEmail subscribers for the first time and also seeing many whom I had been privileged to meet before.

By God's grace, I finished the three classes kindly assigned to me, made it home to Houston on Saturday, and checked into the E.R. at Methodist Hospital West early Sunday morning. On Thursday, May 10, following four days of diagnostic tests and evaluation, I received an epidural steroid injection that relieved much of the pain.This is a temporary ¯fix¯-- in my case the neurosurgeon says a complicated surgery is the only known human cure. On Friday, I moved from Methodist Hospital to Katy Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital for intensive (at least three hours daily) physical therapy aimed at enabling maximum quality of life and a minimum of unbearable pain.


'LOOK FOR ANGELS' -- When Christ lives in us and we abide in him, we sense God's presence everywhere. Occasionally we find ourselves in "thin places" where earth and heaven almost coincide as we experience the holy in the ordinary. I was so graced a few nights ago while in Methodist Hospital as a nurse's aide removed my socks and sponged my feet with warm soapy water before I turned in for the night. The conversation was brief and it unfolded almost as a liturgy of worship. "Did you know that Jesus Christ said what you are doing now is the most visible act of true service and humility?" I inquired. Somewhat to my surprise, this humble Filipina replied: "Yes -- and every time I do this, I think about him." Jesus sees it every time," I assured her, "and considers that you have done it for him personally." As we left California for home two Saturdays ago, my sister-in-law Susan gently admonished, "Look for angels." Spot on, Susan. Spot on!


WRIGHT SINGS DYLAN -- Such mercies witness to the present inbreaking of God's coming kingdom. They remind us that for the present, our faith is anchored in the future as well as planted in the past. For a powerful, evocative picture of that future, consider the words of Bob Dylan, sung by N. T. Wright, here.

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