Monday, April 17, 2006

There were times in my two years at Highland Lakes, that I was the only staff person working on particular days. It was not necessarily planned, it just happened to work out that way. On those days, I enjoyed working at things that I knew noone else would do... like using a chain saw, to remove snags, debris, or just cutting fallen trees to firewood.

This was one of those days. I was working roughly a hundred yards from our main building, but down a trail, and in the woods. Several trees had come down in a previous storm, and they were blocking the trail. I began clearing it. I had been working for some time at this, when I noticed a snag (a tree without a top) that was leaning in a threatening fashion.

I took it upon myself to be proactive, and prevent future danger to one of our guests, by removing this threat. I began cutting into the tree's base. I stopped several times, as my saw was dulling down. When I did, I would check the tilt of the tree and try to assure it was not going to come down on me.

I was growing tired, and my saw was beginning to whine about what I had it doing. I stopped to look up at the tree, when I felt sudden pain in my upper left thigh. I looked down at my leg to see that as I had relaxed my cutting position, My wrists had flexed just enough that the saw blade had "paid me back" for making it work so hard.

It had shredded my pants, and my flesh. I was bleeding and needed medical attention. Suddenly I remembered that I was all alone at camp, and there was literally noone to call for help (other than 911). I began trying to calm me down. My mind had begun to race with thoughts of "if I go into shock" this isn't gonna be good.

I made my way to my vehicle and drove to my home to clean up. In my 'one on one' with myself, I was reminded that I was trained in first aid, and could help this foolish victim.

I climbed out of the shredded pants to discover that a five inch strip of my left quadricep was missing (five inches long, not deep). I cleaned, sterilized, and bandaged my mishap. I felt pretty silly. I had not even felt the blade redecorating my leg. I could feel it now.

Later, during a bandage change, I revealed my little "scrape" to my family. They insisted I should have gotten stitches. I disagreed. I think I was right. Today my scar has healed to only being two inches long.

For some reason, BJ seemed to think the whole thing was pretty cool. Oh, he expressed concern, it was just that he could see the whole guy side of things... that I would have "bragging rights" in the next "spitting contest." Men are warped!

I've realized that the times I have spiritual lapses, also come when I am alone, and have let my guard down. It's not that I intentionally run to failure, at least not usually. It's more that like with the tree, I am occupied with something else, fighting a bit of weariness, and suddenly refocus to notice that my choices have landed me where I don't want to be. Careful thought and prayer would have prevented this.

I find that if I am in fellowship with other believers, I tend not to wander into stray saw blades. I need to stay in fellowship.

By the way, a concerned minister friend bought me some "chaps" to prevent any further unplanned carvings.

I will miss those who have been my friends over the last few years. New relationships must become a priority (in Tulsa) as I am not looking to win anymore "spitting contests."



At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you guys so much.. yesterday was very moving for my mom and I.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men!! I know that God created men to have this "warrior" mentality --- but, . . . I guess women will never quite understand. I'm glad to know that you recognize your weaknesses in body and soul. I'm also blessed that you continue to share and lift those of us on this blog.

At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


sorry its been a few days. i was relaxing in Florida!! hope the move is going well. I spent a great deal of time praying for you all yesterday.. the fellowship thing is HUGE. like peru changed the way i look at fellowship..and still have yet to find that here at home. But the Lord is faithful.

i love you all immensely. keep on keepin on. I'm praying for the move!


At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pray that God would provide you with wonderful new supportive friends that will hold you and care for you, cry & laugh with you and walk beside you to help carry your loads.

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent a lot of time thinking of you yesterday. A few hymns during church service brought me to tears - I kept on thinking about all the saints in Heaven celebrating together. It must have been a tremendous sight! I am thinking of you this week especially - new and exciting adventures are underway! God bless you.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't written in a long time, but I read everyday and pray for you often. While I was in church yesterday I was thinking of your family and prayed for you during your services. I was also thinking of BJ and wondered what he was doing on his first Easter with Jesus. I cried the whole service. I am moved beyond words as I see things unfold in your life and see God's hand in it. It has showed me that I need to "declutter" my like so that I can see God's will for my life. I will continue to pray for you and your family with every thought I have of ya'll.


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