Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'll Fly Away Part 1

Thomas MacKenzie's dad died on July 30th. Decades ago, Thomas' dad was paralyzed by a surgeon's error. This paralysis resulted in his dad having to spend the rest of his life shackled. He was either tethered to a wheelchair or the braces that he fashioned as a remedy. After his dad's death, Thomas took the brace(s) to a high bridge over a serious river and slung them over the rail. His choice to do so was motivated by his hatred for what they, the braces, represent: death, (Thomas used the word 'inability') destruction, maiming, suffering, loss, I could go on, ad infinitum.

My first instinct when watching Thomas' video blog on the subject, is this is cathartic, it is meaningful to him. Braces, wheelchairs, all tethering of the sort represents the enemy's impact on our bodies, our lives, our world. I've seldom come across a person limited by physical or mental handicap (errrr impairment, impairment I must be p.c. said the roboton) that I did not think on the scar of the fall. In Mr. MacKenzie's case, the fall of a fallen surgeon, apparently. Who knows what caused the surgeon's mistake. A bad night's sleep, the slip of scalpel, an ongoing stress yet to be named...? Who knows!?

I've asked those questions too. My birth's trauma sort of remains a mystery to me. I know what the condition is, but there's not a cause of which I'm aware. Even so, I spent the first quarter of my life with a brace on my left leg, though it was not required for me to stand, or walk. I think the fitting term was therapeutic brace. There was the awful irony. I could do without it, I could drag my weaker leg along without a brace and oh how I longed to do so. Much to my flesh's dismay, my mother faithfully had me fitted for it as I grew-(to the orthopaedist twice a year at least) and saw to it that I wore it every day. Today, without it, I try not to drag my leg, and the constancy of the therapy in my formative years made a difference. My leg was strengthened by the wearing of it- I was, as they say, changed. Changing is probably more accurate, or to use a theological term-being sanctified. So, my being bound in this life is both a dreadful signature of the enemy's destruction and a glorious intimation of that day yet to come, when, like Thomas' dad, I'll be changed on the other side, body and soul.

No more iron shackles on my feet....

There's more to this, and I'm going to post part 2 later.

Go well this Lord's day, worshipping Him whose glory is everlasting.

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