Sunday, February 07, 2010

A prayer for today

Today is the anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires. In worship this morning at Myrtleford, we marked this anniversary with a special act of lighting candles of remembrance as part of our prayers of intercession.

Below is the prayer that I used. I wrote the opening preface and the part relating to the lighting of candles, and the rest comes from Uniting in Worship resources.

It was a very special time; emotional, sombre, and I hope, healing, as people hugged each other when they moved to the front of the worship space to light a candle, and returned to their seats.

Loving God,
a year has passed since our community cowered
under the weight of the Black Saturday bushfires.
There have been losses:
of lives,
of homes,
of property,
and of spirit, that has crumbled under the pressure.

There has been hard work:
in adjusting to a new reality,
in cleaning up,
in rebuilding,
and in supporting one another through this time.

Loving God, hear us
as we offer these prayers in love for ourselves and for others.

For those who lack love
because their hurts are too great –
Through Christ, may we be your friends and servants,
bringers of love and life.

For those who lack hope
because their ideals have been shattered –
Through Christ, may we be your friends and servants,
bringers of love and life.

For those who lack life
because their weariness is too overwhelming –
Through Christ, may we be your friends and servants,
bringers of love and life.

As we remember specific people and situations,
for others, and ourselves,
we bring these before God in the symbolic gesture
of lighting a candle.
(people come forward to light tapers)

Fill your people with love, hope and life.
Cause us to celebrate with the joyful,
mourn with the sorrowful,
sit quietly with the weary,
and encourage the eager.
Touch us with the power of resurrection
through Christ our Lord...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Something to remember...

Just over three weeks ago, I had a mole removed from my lower back, because my GP didn't like the look of it and wanted to be on the safe side. As it turned out, the mole was benign, was completely excised, and all was well with the world... or at least so I thought.

When I returned to have the sutures removed, the nurse commented that it was a bit red, but no sign of infection, and I should leave the wound site uncovered to encourage the drying/healing process. Again, all seemed to be going fine...

A week later, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that the site had been bleeding and weeping, the evidence of which was on my clothes, so after much contorting, I patted it dry as best I could, and put some bandaids over it (one bandaid was not big enough to cover the whole site, so I needed to put two across it). Next morning I rang the surgery and made an appointment (that afternoon) to have the practice nurse take a look at it.

The nurse was a bit uncertain and called in the doctor, who ordered a swab, and prescribed a course of antibiotics, got the nurse to dress it, and told me to come back in a week for the nurse to have another look at it.

The nurse's dressing didn't last as long as she advised me it should have, and when I replaced it after that each day with the particular kind of dressing she recommended, the wound was still bleeding (the fact that it was in such an awkward position on my back that I couldn't really see properly to put the dressing on, meant that on at least one occasion, a bit of the 'sticky' part of the dressing went onto the actual wound site, so when I removed it, it ripped off the top of the scab, and made it bleed even worse).

Also, during the week, the course of antibiotics gave me diarrhoea, which was really pleasant- NOT!

Speaking to my mother the other night, she was astounded that this was going on, as she (a veteran of many mole removals) was adamant that it should have been well and truly all healed up by now. I am also feeling a bit over it all, and the bleeding, the pus, and the fuss.

So today, when I returned to the nurse, she redressed the wound and used a special gel, designed to 'eat' away at the icky bits (a bit like a modern day leech!) so that the wound can heal up cleanly. Back again next Monday, so I hope that this will be the final visit.

All this to-ing and fro-ing has gotten me thinking. The other day, I was whingeing to God about the frustration of the whole process, but then was struck with the thought of how fortunate I am to live in a country where this kind of medical treatment (for what really is a minor thing, in the whole scheme of things) is actually available to me, and I am in a position to afford to access it. And for that I certainly give thanks.

I started thinking of people, like a lady I visited in hospital yesterday, who injure themselves, and take MONTHS to heal from a similarly small and insignificant wound, battling infection after infection and just the lack of healing 'grunt' in their tired and ageing bodies.

I am not doing too badly after all...