“You have heard that it was said ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies….”
Matthew 5:43-44 (NASB)
Written in red. The Red Letter Bible. Many versions of the bible have every word that Jesus actually said written in red type. Have you ever done a red letter study? It is interesting. What I have done in the past is start with Matthew reading only those passages that Jesus said, outline them and compare them across all 4 gospels. There are also a few published bible studies that you can purchase to guide you through the words, instructions, parables and sayings of Jesus but I enjoyed just going through them myself.
Funny what you hear laying awake at 2:44AM awaiting the next dose of pain medication. Steve set me up on our big comfy couch so I would be closer to the kitchen and have less of an obstacle course getting to the bigger bathroom. He fashioned a bed for himself on the accompanying love seat so he could be close by to help me up and get my meds on time. Steve is giving me 110%. I am comforted as I hear him breathing in and out accompanied by an occasional snore or two.
Creaks come from odd places in my almost 60 year old house. The corner of the wall where the couch sits, the ceiling over head, in the kitchen as the refrigerator goes through another cycle and the french doors directly across from my feet let off sounds that only occur in the wee small hours of the morning. The chimes on the patio are tinkling as the wind whips the screens on the windows over my head. Suddenly I hear voices. It’s an odd time for voices. I look at the bright screen on my phone that reads 3:01AM. My neighbors next door are talking outside on their patio. Insomnia strikes Braddock St.
That isn’t the first time I have heard weird sounds at an odd time this week. My mother-in-law told me that she awakened during the surgery for her mastectomy. It was a hard situation to deal with for her as she could not speak to tell them she was awake. Almost instantly the doctor noticed her vitals spiking and put her back under but she was awake long enough to remember. That really got to me so each time I had surgery I would always tell the anesthesiologist her story. They always made sure I stayed asleep through an emergency gall bladder surgery, left & right knee arthroscope and total left knee replacement. So far so good!
Going in for this total right knee replacement I was excited to get it over with and move on with my life. Once again I told the good doctor in charge of keeping me asleep the story. He assured me that I could count on him to keep me out. He would administer a spinal block first so I would be numb from the waist down then give me drugs through my IV. No tube down my throat this time which was a relief since each time my vocal chords would take a beating.
As I was wheeled in to the OR I was fully awake. They had not given me anything to relax. That was OK with me because I found it interesting to see all of the tools my doctor would use to fashion my new knee joint. I also got to meet the chief OR nurse already decked out in her space suit. Scooting over to the operating table a weird dread came over me. That is when I met Marie. I described our meeting in yesterday’s blog. She truly was an angel.
Bending me forward I was told I would feel a pinch in my lower back and most certainly I did. Everything went black as I felt the flooding effects of the drugs. A period of time had gone by when I opened my eyes wide and looked around. Above me I saw a blue surgical curtain. The fabric was not touching my face; it was like they made a tent for my head. I could see the drape criss crossed as light was coming through making some parts seem deeper blue than others.
Realizing I was wide awake I listened for voices. There were no voices but what I did hear was a tap tap tap sound. I was pretty sure I was hearing the doctor taping the steel rod down in to my fibula. Boy did that sound strange. No voices, just taping. Around me I could make out ambient noises like rustling around and foot steps. In hindsight I wish these next words would not have come out of my mouth because it would have been so fascinating to see the surgical team’s faces when they pulled the screen away from my face and saw my big brown eyes wide awake saying “Are we all finished here?”
“Hey, I can hear you tap tap tap. Now that’s interesting” I said quite enthusiastically. Oh to be a “fly on the wall”, as it were, in that OR as I am sure they probably all gave the anesthesiologist the hairy eyeball because I was awake! I specifically told him, the OR nurse, my own doctor and my angel Marie that I did not want to wake up during the surgery and here I was chatting away. Fortunately I could not feel a thing because of the spinal block which definitely was a plus. After those words left my mouth the next thing I remember was waking up looking at the clock in the recovery room feeling extremely woozy.
Our precious Lord took care of me all the way through that surgery. Perhaps that doctor needed to learn a lesson to pay closer attention, I don’t know. Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew “you have heard it said” He then goes on to tell them what they had heard in the law and now what He is saying that they must follow. They had heard it said love your neighbors and hate your enemies but Jesus now says love your enemies. Reading through that entire chapter you will see many more places that Jesus says you have heard it said but I say. Being under the new testament covenant we must now follow the words of Jesus. That doctor heard me say I didn’t want to wake up. That was not God’s plan for me for whatever reason. I could have been angry and held it against that physician because of my explicit request. He assured me rather smugly that it would not happen on his watch. Well, I chose to give God the glory and hope it never happens to anyone else. It certainly makes for an interesting story that I will never forget thanking God all of the way for His gracious provision.
Take time today to read a verse or two of Jesus’ words written in red. Ask Him to help you follow all of His instructions. Make it a goal to love those around you, forgive those who wrong you, even your enemies. Be blessed today by the blessings you will bring to others. ️
Good Morning Beloved