“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Those people who read my last blog post will know that this week I briefly walked after more than a decade in an electric wheelchair. Jean Echlin, Adjunct Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Windsor, responded to the post by sending me an email that said "To see you stand and walk is the most remarkable event that I have ever witnessed in over 60 years of nursing." 

Indeed what happened was remarkable and I have been struck by various emotions and fears. Is this neurological window that cracked open a moment of temporary fresh breeze that will disappear, the window close, leaving me once again tied to my wheelchair? Dare I hope the window will stay open and get my hopes up again? 

In earlier years the multiple sclerosis was
exacerbating/remitting; attacks would come then relent. I would go to bed at night not knowing what function I'd wake up with or without. It was terrible. Remissions would come and lost function would partially return. So many times, my wife and I would tell each other we were not going to get our hopes up -- but we did. Attacks would come and break our hearts again, again and again. 

As the years with MS progressed, the course of the disease turned to what the medical profession calls secondary progressive. The roller coaster of dramatic symptoms moderated into a slide downhill. At the 30 year point, my brain and brain stem are riddled with plagues, my body so unresponsive and weak, we had long ago given up hoping for a remission. The raucous years were over but so were dreams of something different. We accepted our lot in life.

When I walked last Tuesday for the first time in years, I initially didn't want to say anything for fear it was a temporary anomaly and would disappear. My wife said, "So what if it doesn't last. Share your joy even if it is only for a day. It may never come again." We decided to send a video to my daughter who promptly put it on Facebook! Word was out.

Dare I dream and risk waking up to find my legs are half-dead again? You may say Yes. But life is so often more than merely picking up the pieces of one's life and walking. The state of my heart is more important than the state of my body.

What was the point of all these years that ticked away convalescing and waiting on the Lord? The answer is not coming in a thunderclap of excitement, cheers and celebration, rather a gentle breeze of spiritual peace coming through that slightly opened neurological window. What is God saying to me? (Shhh, listen Mark.) Humbly pray for understanding more than recovery. 

Perhaps my understanding will not come somewhere in time and circumstance rather in transcending time and circumstance. He is whispering to me. 

As usual, music expresses my heart where words fail. Click below or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIYEkLZQ10Y for Somewhere In Time by John Barry. 

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