Jerusalem Journal # 185
“It has been said, “Be careful what you pray for–you might just get it!” I have been painfully reacquainted with the truth of that adage. Gary and I had been praying for breakthroughs on many fronts: for his prostate cancer and side effects becoming a thing of the past, for the medical TV series script development and support we’ve been pursing in Israel via The Writers’ Gathering, for the Master Design: Decorating by The Book manuscript I’ve worked on for years becoming a reality, and for our legal ability to continue calling Israel “home”, to name a few. Each one of those issues seemed to be something we could see through the glass, but were as yet, unreachable.
A joyous visit from grandchildren has a way of leaving lots of Lilliputian reminders of precious hands and feet. And don’t forget spills. One of our patios at The Place of Stories has a sliding glass door–a remnant of original construction, apparently when shatterproof glass was a thing of the future or the previous owner didn’t care to invest in safety.
Waves of house guests and hosting, from our Writers’ Gathering team, to family guests, to overnighters, kept me on my toes fastidiously trying to keep up with the cleaning. After my daughter and grandchildren boarded a plane for Turkey I had those sliding glass doors sparkling.
An unexpected rain at the Sea of Galilee last month sent me flying from one terrace to the next gathering up patio cushions and tablecloths. The thought of scattering soggy cushions like stepping stones on interior tile floors and draping drenched tablecloths from stairway banisters in a locked-up house for a long weekend had me moving at I’m-coming-to-the-rescue speed.
Boom!* Pow!* Crash!* No, it wasn’t the sound of Batman beating up the bad guys. It was Superwoman Wannabe meeting the glass door in the photo above. Shards of glass exploded like lightning bolts around me. Stunned by the sound, I saw razor sharp glass stalactites clinging to the upper door frame just above me as I bounced backwards after impact. There was a jagged “me-sized” outline as evidence of collision. It was not the breakthrough I had been praying for over the past year.
Two gaping wounds, one revealing muscle in my right leg and another across the top of my right hand exposing white severed tendons, the horror of blood and the press of survival triggered my mind’s reel of emergency actions, propelling me to the nearby kitchen sink. “Gary, HELP ME!”
Kitchen towels became makeshift tourniquets in a new and very different race for time; then, within fifteen minutes we were inside the emergency room of the local Sea of Galilee hospital with an IV bag hanging from the rack above my left arm. Catching my breath, I realized that God had protected my face and neck.
Just days after a three-day hospital stay, my hand in a half-cast up to my elbow, and trying to make sense of what this detour was all about, I received a call from the home editor of The Jerusalem Post with whom I’d been dialoguing for a few months about her desire to feature our home, The Place of Stories, in her section of the Post’s weekly Magazine. Our return trip to the U.S. had been scheduled for the end of May, but this “breakthrough” delayed travel plans; thus opening up the photo shoot opportunity and a spotlight on my Master Design-style decorating.
Two weeks for preparation would be a stretch with my arm in a cast, hobbling on a debilitated leg, and Gary’s strength compromised by the ravages of prostate cancer, but if we had help we could do it, couldn’t we? All of those projects we had envisioned for the completed house went on a “to do” list, we prayed, friends came to help and dreams became reality.
Other breakthroughs have come in these past six weeks of delay. An MRI disclosed that the cancerous tumor outside Gary’s prostate was no longer evident and suspicious lymph nodes were clear. Hallelujah! We were given a six-month medical extension to our visa which allows us needed follow-up treatments and time to continue pursuing our quest for residency. Our TV series writer is preparing an initial script which hopefully we will be pitching to Hollywood networks in July. One of our Writers’ Gathering donors has funded the launch of development money which will fuel our vision to tell the stories of sacrifice and teamwork among the mix of staff Jews, Muslims, Christians, Ethiopians and Druze in Israeli hospitals.
We certainly didn’t intend for our own medical issues to drive us into the hospital world here as a means of research, but that is what it feels like. In 2 Samuel 5:20 David, King over Israel and Judah, won a defining battle over his Philistine enemies which opened the way for him to take his throne to Jerusalem. That place on the outskirts of Jerusalem where the battle was fought and won for all Israel David then renamed Baal Perazim, The Lord (or Master) of Breakthroughs, as a memorial to what God did for him that day. Baal Perazim is teaching us to trust Him and His timing in all things with an open palm.
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