The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Wake up, your soul is calling

If getting better is all you got out of being sick, you got cheated

The pain was excruciating! It woke me from a sound sleep, and I sat bolt upright with a yelp. My whole upper right side had gone into a muscle spasm and wasn't releasing.

I tried standing. I tried sitting. Lying down in any position brought no relief. I popped some aspirin and stumbled into the shower, turning on the water as hot as I could stand it. I fitfully got through the rest of the night propped up in an easy chair. It was Oct. 3, 1985--a day I'll not forget.

For the next month I bounced from one specialist to another. Pain killers, muscle relaxants and physical therapy kept me barely functional, but being stubborn--and increasingly angry--I kept working, only to get worse. Finally, I couldn't push anymore and collapsed in bed where I was instructed to stay for two to three weeks. All my defiance, resistance, and refusal to give in had only made matters worse. With anguished cries of "Why me, Lord?" I gave in.

(Article contains eight tips for "soul-making" in illness.)

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February issue


Embracing diversity