In December of 2011, I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on both hands. I had hoped the cervical fusion surgery of October was the source of my hands going to sleep and becoming numb while working. It was not and now I was having more surgery. First my right hand in January and now my left hand in February. This surgery was so simple and short according to the Doc. The right one had gone great but before I was to have surgery on my left, while lying in the bed before surgery, I had of all things a panic attack. I have been a pro at surgeries I thought. This was now number 7 already.
They eventually calmed me down and I was able to have the surgery. The night before I had really struggled with having the surgery. My right hand was not even healed yet but my doctors all advised to have it. I am guessing 30 years of carving had finally done it.
All of it was just so much. Over the course of several months, I had experienced loss. I could not do my art work. My ministry had ended in a way that I did not necessarily chose at the time. There was loss of income. Loss of purpose. Loss of outdoor experiences because of my neck surgery earlier. And more importantly, A feeling that I was just plain lost.
Surgery went as expected and the Doctor came out and said that my hand was as bad as any he had ever seen in doing these surgeries. I guess my years of working on my hands and me waiting to have surgery had all added up. There was a sense of relief that this was over and I had asked my wife Karen for some ice and a sprite. She had waited in the room during surgery and was there to meet me in recovery.
After eating some ice and drinking a sip of sprite, I was talking with her when suddenly I found myself gone! Gone as in just plain out of existence. Can’t explain it but gone. I was talking with Karen all the time this was happening and I told her, I am lost. She said What? I said I am lost and I can’t find my way out. At the same time, I was standing in a field, a field that at the time looked like Johnson grass of all things. Suddenly while standing in this field, and experiencing this immense feeling of loneliness and fear, God came to me, took my hand, and started walking with me.
Within a few moments, I suddenly came back to existence and told Karen what had happened and immediately began to cry. I told her that I had just seen God and she was just shocked. She asked me what did God look like and I said I don’t know? I just knew that God had me by the hand and was walking with me. After I told my children the story, they were afraid that I had coded and almost died and this was some sort of near death experience. I told them that it was not.
So in this painting, I am Found! I am not sure of just what it all means and I am not sure about the future, but I know one thing, God Found me! This is my impression of that field, all covered with color. I still don’t know a lot. My hands are better. My neck is better. Don’t know about the future for now. But one thing I know and that is that I am Found!
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