First Thoughts from a Hospital Bed

It’s 2:45 in the a.m., and I cannot sleep. I’m lying here in a hospital bed, where I’ve been for the last 5 days. This is the firs time in over a week that I haven’t had “mush-mind”, a mind so preoccupied with pain that it can think of nothing else. Now my mind won’t shut down. So I thought I’d write. As these are the first thoughts to emerge from the hospital bed, please do not expect them to be entirely coherent, organized, or rational – in other words – same as usual. 


A week ago I began to develop a severe headache, which my doctor classified as a migraine, but he was concerned that I would be starting migraines at 42, I had never had one before. We eventually went to the ER,  (twice, because I panicked the first time and thought I could do without the possibility of a spinal tap) where I was admitted and have been treated for a Low Pressure headache. Technically they’re calling it an Inter Cranial Hypo Tension Headache. I was perfectly fine as long as I was laying flat on my back, but the moment I sat or stood, I would experience sharp shooting pain throughout the head, pressure behind the ears, and nausea. After 5 days of bed rest, MRI’s, 2 spinal taps, a blood patch, and some lovely drugs, I think I can say I’m on the mend. 

God is Good

Through the worst of this, I began to wonder, “Will I ever be able to read my bible agin? To preach again? To share the gospel again?” Yeah, the pain was that severe and debilitating. Wonderfully, I had family and friends praying for me when I couldn’t even pray for myself. They read scripture when simply looking at the pages hurt. They reminded me that all of Gods promises are “Yes and Amen” in Christ, and the God is faithful and steadfast in His love. I’ve told others that so often, it was good to be reassured in my time of need. 

Some things that got me though

Survival mode consisted of the basic pleasures of life, Popsicles, jello, broth, and coffee which I learned is actually good for headaches (and for writing at 2:45 am). I also learned how to use the audio version of the Bible on my Logos App for the iPhone. 

And music.  TV hurt.  The shades were drawn because the light outside hurt, and the phone screen hurt, so I played music the help calm me. The Sons of Korah sing new arrangements of the Psalms, I’ve listened to them a lot.  Indelible Grace music, especially the song God Moves in a Mysterious Way.  Find it, listen to it, love it.  There is a song too from Bifrost Arts called Break Us By Your Grace.  For the first couple of days, the chorus was the only thing I could think through all the pain. Interestingly, it was the old classic hymns that I sang to myself during the MRI’s. 

Thank Yous

I better bring this to a close. It’s taking longer to correct my typos than is is to write them. Personal thank Yous will be made later, but to all who have been praying, to all who have helped or offered to help my wife and kids: Thank You.  I’m not sure when I’ll be sent home, so keep praying, and if your in the area, stop by to visit.

To the doctors, nurses, and staff of the hospital, thank you for your wisdom, compassion, patience, encouragement, and care!

To God, for his grace, his mercy, his love, his faithfulness, which are all so perfectly evidenced in Christ Jesus, but have become even more real in this time of affliction and healing: may my life sing your praise and thanksgiving, now and forever.   

Help for Japan


Earthquake. Tsunami. Nuclear meltdown. Any one of these disasters could be catastrophic.

Rescue efforts continue in Japan following the March 11 tsunami and earthquake and the growing nuclear crisis. Thousands have been confirmed dead, tens of thousands are missing, and hundreds of thousands have been evacuated.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is responding through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and our ecumenical and mission partners. Already, $100,000 from the One Great Hour of Sharing offering has been sent to provide immediate relief.

While Japan is among the world’s most advanced countries, the damage caused by the unprecedented scale of these multiple disasters is beyond imagination. You can make a difference in bringing God’s healing to this devastated nation, where Presbyterians have been engaged in active mission work since 1859.


GIVE—Financial support for relief efforts wherever disasters occur can be designated to DR000148. Support exclusively for these disasters can be designated to DR000117. Donations may also be made to One Great Hour of Sharing, which supports PDA. Gifts can be made online at, by phone at (800) 872-3283, or by mailing a check to: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.

ACT—Congregations and individuals can put together Gifts of the Heart hygiene kits and baby kits. Stay informed through the PDA website and Rapid Information Network e-mail reports.

PRAY—Join with others in lifting up the people of Japan and those providing aid.