Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Redirected, Rerouted and Remade...the Perfect Pillow

I spent the morning making a pillow.  Not a decorative pillow, a functional pillow. 

A pillow is a very big deal to me. You see, I am very particular about what goes under my neck. 

The problem with my neck began at least twenty five years ago.  I had taken a pregnant patient down to radiology for X-rays to determine if her breech, or buttocks first, baby would fit through her pelvis. (That was back in the days when we still did that sort of thing.)  While I was waiting for the X-ray to be made, developed and read by the radiologist, I went to sit on a nearby stool.  Only I didn't know it was broken.  When I sat on the stool, the seat collapsed to the legs with a crash as it hit bottom.  As it did, I could feel each vertebrae in my back stacking upon each other like the floors of an imploding high rise building.  The vertebrae at the top, in my neck, took the brunt of the force. 

Being young and still in that stage of life where I considered myself pretty much invincible, I didn't think much it.  Then a few weeks later a similar event occurred.  We were in the gym, and I went to sit on a machine in the gym, only the pin wasn't in the seat and again I went crashing to the ground.  The force of my weight was again sent pummeling up into my neck.  This time I seem to recall it bothering me a little more. 

Then a few  months later a young girl who had only been driving for four months decided she wanted to be in our back seat instead of the front seat where she was driving.  She rear-ended us.  It wasn't a very forceful impact, more like a fender-bender.  But that night at work I started having very short but blinding -- literally blinding -- headaches.  I went to the ER and was told I had whiplash.

The blinding headaches disappeared in a couple hours, but the migraines began.  Then slowly -- so gradually I didn't notice it at first -- my left fingers went numb. My hand began to lose strength. I was dropping things. I couldn't even hold a Styrofoam cup because I couldn't feel it. 

My friend at work insisted, no she nagged me incessantly, to go to the neurologist.  Her husband had suffered through similar symptoms in his legs and had ended up with permanent nerve damage.  She was effective.  I went, but I was sure the neurologist would tell me I was crazy.  He did not.  He told me I had significant, and he said it with that serious doctor voice, significant nerve damage.  The resulting MRI showed a herniated disc at one vertebrae and bone spurs at another.  My neck pain and arm problems were real.

After three weeks of traction, my neck was somewhat better, but we began to search for anything to make my neck more comfortable.  Part of that was buying a Tempur-pedic pillow.  It was wonderful.  The elastic foam cradled my neck and bounced back when I got out of bed.   It was like a miracle.

But I began to notice lately my Tempur-pedic pillow didn't feel so good anymore. The miracle was gone. When we bought our new mattress, we also bought new gel-foam pillows.  They are doughy and squishy, but not quite what I needed them to be for my neck.  So today, I took a look at my old Tempur-pedic pillow and realized where my head had rested for all these years, the foam was no longer bouncing back.  I guess I killed the bounce!

This gave me an idea.  I took that Tempur-pedic pillow, and the gel-foam pillow and I cut them both up into little tiny squares.  I filled the cover of the Tempur-pedic pillow with all those white and yellow squares until it looked like a huge taco filled with squares of cheese!  The gel-foam is soft and doughy and the Tempur-pedic foam is firm and more supportive.  Together they make one incredible pillow.  Neither was quite right anymore in its own right.  But remade, rerouted, redirected, it is a n-i-c-e pillow.

Sometimes we may go for years, even decades, ministering or performing duties for the Lord in a certain way.  We may not even realize we are losing our "bounce."  But the Lord knows, like I knew with my flattened Tempur-pedic pillow, He can best use us in a different fashion now. 

If we are willing to let Him apply His scissors, His reworking in our lives, He can reroute us.  He can redirect us into a place of duty and ministry that we might not have ever imagined, but is just the very place where we can give comfort and encouragement and love to the part of the body of Christ that is hurting around us.

Let us seek to be only what He wants us to be, to serve where and how He would have us to serve and to be willing to be redirected, rerouted and remade if necessary for His glory and His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus.

In my life Lord, be glorified.
In my life Lord, be glorified today.
Be glorified in the heavens,
Be glorified in the earth,
Be glorified in this temple.
Jesus.  Jesus.
Be Thou glorified.

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