I’ve spent much of this week sick.
I was driving home from Pittsburgh on Monday evening and started having a lot of pain in my groin and lower back. By the time I got home, I couldn’t stand it, so I went to the Emergency Room in nearby DuBois. Turns out, I’m trying to pass a kidney stone. OUCH!
Because of the amount of vomiting and such, they kept me as a patient for a couple of nights to make sure I wouldn’t get dehydrated. But now that that particular phase is over, I’m back at home… but still have the stone… and the pain.
I remember seminary classes where they invited us to ‘think theologically’ about the events of life… and I haven’t had a lot of anything constructive that I could accomplish, so I’ve tried to see where God is in the midst of this situation. Gotta admit, this is a hard sell.
As I understand it, kidney stones come from the God-given function of the kidney of filtering out impurities in your food as you process that food into nutrition. The kidney picks up the little pieces of irritant and stuff that your particular body can’t process and begins to coagulate those impurities in order to pass them out of your system. Seems simple enough. Except if you are like me, and you get too big of a ‘coagulated ball of impurities’ then it’s PAINFUL to pass the little buggers out of your system! If you have too many impurites, they coagulate into stones that don’t fit so easily down the plumbing pipes of the kidney and the bladder. The more impurities, the harder to pass.
I’m having to use a strainer for all of the output from my bladder in order to try and catch this little stone. If we catch it, then they can analyze it, and then we can figure out what my body treats as an impurity… that is, what does my body make stones out of? Cause if we know that, then I can simply AVOID that food or drink.
How many times is that like our spiritual lives?
We watch a television program and hardly notice the four letter words or the excessive violence. Our spiritual self just tries to filter that stuff out. Or the music or the movies or the magazines or the pictures. A little bit now and then can’t really hurt you, right?
Except that when a little bit of sin and a little bit of vulgarity and a little bit of lust are tolerated, it begins to accumulate… making a spiritual “stone” if you will extend the expression a bit. And the more of those impurities we allow in, the more difficult and painful it will be when we try to be free of the influence of all that crud.
I don’t yet know what I need to avoid in my physical diet in order to prevent future kidney stones… but as soon as I find out… I WILL AVOID it! Because I don’t want the pain of not being able to pass a stone again.
You and I DO already know what kinds of crud we need to avoid to keep our spiritual lives free from the crud that builds up from exposure to all the sin around us. WILL WE AVOID IT?