Bladders, Botox and Ash Wednesday
It’s Ash Wednesday. The first day of Lent. Our first day of trying our best to walk alongside Jesus on His journey towards Good Friday and then Easter. It’s the first day of the season where we do the best we can to make choices the way we think Jesus would make choices.
I know the “what would Jesus do” bracelets and keychains and bumper stickers have become a bit of a joke, and rightly so given how un-Jesus-like many of us have acted , but it is the season of doing our best to ask ourselves in every situation “What would Jesus do? What would He think? What would He say?“
As the days lengthen (Lent), they brighten, the sun shines, the snow melts, and spring marches towards us. There is hope for new life springing out of the depths of winter.
But there is also the necessity to remember the pain in the world. It is -22 today in Toronto And over 8000 people just last night stayed in a shelter of some kind because they have no home. Another 500 or so people slept outside. I hope I don’t hear news today of someone freezing to death last night.
That’s just one example of how the world is so very far from perfect;
so very far from just.
I had another Botox treatment on Monday. I’ve written about this before but as a quick reminder, someone has discovered that injecting Botox into your bladder could help you have less urgency and frequency to pee. This is a huge benefit to those of us with Multiple Sclerosis as having to pee so often with such urgency is a real pain in the butt.
But there’s a real price to pay. Lots of humility and some indignity is required. And being in a wheelchair takes it up a significant notch. I went to the hospital for 8 AM, went to the clinic, got undressed from the waist down with some help, had freezing injected into my bladder (yes via catheter…), got covered up for some decency as I had to wheel out into the hallway and wait a half an hour for the freezing to take affect, wheeled back into the room, doctors came in and inserted another catheter in me with a camera on it so they (and I) could see the inside of my bladder on a TV screen, and proceeded to inject me with Botox. (I now have a very pretty bladder:) Then I got helped to get dressed and they sent me on my way with a prescription for antibiotics so as to prevent possible infection.
But as I’m waiting in the hallway for that half hour to freeze my bladder, I see that there is a window overlooking the city. So I wheel to the window and wait out my half hour while looking out side.
The CN Tower is there. (After close to 30 years here that tower still takes my breath away). The sun is rising. The sky is blue. I am overlooking the city that I love so much. I see the great parts of it and I also see a part of the city that so often gets overlooked where I have spent my entire career.
And I ask myself, “what would Jesus do?“ I believe that He would not be going “woe is me. Look at the indignity I have to endure.” But that He would look out the window and enjoy the sunshine and the view, all the while realizing that his life is about bringing love and hope and joy to the world; the broken world that needs so much love and hope and joy.
I am far from being Jesus. I’ve got so much work to do which I will strive to do during this Lenten season.
But at that time on that date I chose to not grovel in my circumstances, but to take in the beautiful sunrise over the city which I have come to love so much.
So for Lent I’ve decided to pretend I’m wearing a ‘WWJD’ bracelet.
Maybe I’ll think of my watch as one…
Give me strength and courage and a reminder to face every choice with a WWJD attitude.