Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Almost absolute silence. Richard's computer has been humming in the background in my study for months and months doing simulations for his 4th year electronic engineering project. He moved it out of his room so he could sleep undisturbed. Now it is silent. The first draft of his project is due tomorrow (Wednesday). It is a bit late in being handed in because of his slow typing. Not only is his right hand affected by the focal dystonia, but his left hand developed arthritis a couple of months ago which makes it painful for him to type. Thank God for the blessing of one of his friends and fellow students who spent a day here a week or so ago doing the typing to Richard's dictation and got through a lot of work that way.

Life is tough - especially when it's one of your kids that is struggling.
But I am appreciating the silence!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Missed Opportunity

I went to the funeral of my sister-in-law's mother last week. She was a Catholic. When the minister went to give Liliana her last communion just before she passed away, my sister-in-law was there. As the priest didn't recognise her, he asked if she worshiped at their church - to which she replied 'no'. Thereupon she was told to move out of the way because she could not partake of the 'host'. How sad that assumptions are made (and perhaps there are expectations behind them) without taking the time to listen and probe carefully. If he had taken the time to speak to her, he would have discovered that she had indeed been baptised and confirmed in that self-same church to which her mother belonged, and was, indeed, one who 'qualified to partake of the host'. He missed a great opportunity for ministry to one who was in the process of saying good-bye to her mother.

That led me to thinking - during the service in which we were told that Catholics could come up for communion but all others were requested to respect their tradition and not come up - that the thinking behind who can and who cannot receive communion in their tradition is a bit up the pole. I know that dispute arises over how they view the bread and wine (as being transformed into the real flesh and blood of Christ) - that doesn't phase me particularly. What I do wonder about though, is: if this is the real body of Christ, how can they justify keeping it away from those who need it? Jesus in the flesh never turned away from the marginalised, unclean, despised and rejected. On the contrary, those who touched him and who were touched by him were healed/ made clean. Jesus welcomed all who came, and was never concerned about being defiled by them because he knew that to be an impossibility.


One of our worship team leaders ended up in hospital with what was at first suspected kidney stones, then perhaps pneumonia. How can such diversity tie up? Well, it comes down to the area of pain which is where diagnosis begins. Thank goodness for other medical tests! It was determined that he actually had a pulmonary embolism. He had originally thought that it was a 'stitch' (intercostal cramp) and had jumped up and down a bit to try and sort it out - which incidentally could have ended up killing him. When in hospital he was not allowed to move from his bed - not even to the loo - because walking could be life-threatening. Eventually the staff allowed him to get into a wheelchair and get to and from the loo that way.

The alarming thing was that he said he felt fine. When he breathed in deeply there was pain in his upper chest, but otherwise medication kept that under control. He just had to lie in bed while his blood was being thinned and the embolism dissolved - even though he 'felt fine'. Just goes to show how what we feel does not reflect reality.