My post last Sunday shocked some readers who thought I’d had a near-death experience, an unexpected encounter with the Grim Reaper.
The Grim Reaper was not by my bedside. Something scarier was: an undercover evangelical zealot. More on that later.
A cardioversion (an electrical zap to the heart) had been scheduled as a corrective measure for my a-fib. Atrial fibrillation (irregular contractions of the heart) isn’t life threatening. But it does increase the risk of a stroke. It can’t be cured, but it can be managed.
My condition was detected through an EKG during a routine physical a year ago. Since then I’ve been on a blood thinner to reduce the chances of clotting.
If a-fib persists (and it usually does), a cardioversion can jolt the heart back into rhythm. With sedation it’s painless, virtually risk free, and can be repeated as often as needed.
The next step up in management is a cardiac ablation, which deactivates certain cells that are misfiring. Ablation may be in my future.
So my first cardioversion wasn’t life threatening after all. Still, I’d like to thank all of you who sent notes of congratulations (and sighs of relief) on my survival. I didn’t realize so many people cared about me.
I also didn’t realize that an undercover evangelical zealot was caring for me.
I usually ask my attendants where they went to school. One attendant told me he graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Was that founded by Jerry Falwell?
What was your major?
And what is that? (I knew, but I asked anyway.)
I defend the Christian faith.
Skeptics and scoffers.
And what about the faith do you defend?
I have arguments that prove the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he is the only begotten son of God, that he rose bodily from the dead, and that he’s coming back someday to cast unbelievers into hell.
I was about to tell him that I was writing a book titled Putting the Bible in Its Place that counters each of his arguments, but I noticed he was standing by a high-voltage machine connected to my body, so I politely said: Good luck with all that.
For everything there is a season
a time to speak
and a time to bite your tongue.
A wise move😉
Thank you. Although you bring your usual creative wit to us this morning, what a gem of a lesson. How qualitatively different our lives would be if we had the discipline to, as Gandhi encouraged, “speak only if it improves upon the silence.” Maybe evangelical zealots need to do more listening.
Sometimes not speaking out is cowardice or “yellow”. Other times it is prudent or “golden”. Your choice was the latter!
Brilliant! Both on the book and the assessment of when to not debate. You live to fight another day!
Jefferson County (WV) Commissioner Trisha Jackson is also a graduate of Liberty University. And, there is nothing wrong with your heart.
Good move! The force is still with you!
I believe that many are uncomfortable with silence. My favorite time of day is the morning when only the birds are speaking and the dogs await the privilege of licking the breakfast bowl. As always readers’ comments are so apt.
Beware of zealots in scrubs. My motto is “all things in moderation”
I have to admit that I’d have given that person my email and told them that if they wanted some practice, they could start a correspondence.
Geez! What an opportunity lost!! In between zaps to your heart you could have related your experiences officiating at same-sex marriages or being indicted for heresy in the Presbyterian church.
They walk among us, with apologies to the popular UK podcast. I had a doctor who graduated from Oral Roberts University. The framed diploma gave me pause, but that speaks more about my southern Baptist upbringing. He never gave me a pamphlet, but he did take a lot of notes when asking questions about me and my family.
In a recent Atlantic article, there was a mashup of thoughts on the rise of distrust, noting the long-growing skepticism of “government, organized religion, the media, corporations, and police,” along with recent research indicating Americans are growing more wary “not only of ‘hypothetical, nameless Americans,’ but of their own colleagues, neighbors, friends, partners, and parents.” In short, wacky and comical old Uncle Bob is now suspect, particularly when armed with Fox News and an AR-15.
Don’t you know her when you see her?
She grew up in your back yard.
Come back to us Barbara Lewis
Hare Krishana Beauregard.
I smirked at my computer screen – I wise decision indeed … I can almost see a light bulb going off over your head … Thank you for sharing … And – YES – people DO care about you – you have “touched us” in one way or another … what a blessing!
With age comes wisdom, if we’re open to learn…and your choice for silence in that moment makes great sense to me…you gave me a good Sunday morning laugh again!! You sure can paint a picture!!! love to you and all y’all…
Wise as ever my brother. Never argue with a zealot. You cannot win. They can change. When I was at William Jewell Baptist College I could have given that same Liberty elevator rap.
Since today is the scariest day of the year prior to Beltane, and the patron Saint of Rabies is in control, I’d say you did the right thing. Five nieces and a nephew lived high on that Liberty Mountain and haven’t spoken to me for years. Why? My lifestyle… I take a bow.
I had forgotten that you were a heretic. I knew I liked you but this is an added reason.
I am also a heretic. I was, in effect, run out of Washington DC by then RC Auxiliary Bishop of Washington William Lori. He found it offensive that I was quoting Anthony DeMello, the Jesuit of India who explored common ground among the world religions, on my website. The Vatican had just recently condemned DeMello on the grounds that his writings might confuse the faithful.
Of course, if I hadn’t been run out of Washington, I never would have met you, Randy, so it was worth it.
Meanwhile the Catholic bishops of India protested the Vatican’s treatment of DeMello and the
Vatican recanted but too late to save me.
And what became of Bishop Lori? He was recently elected the Number Two guy in the Conference of Catholic Bishops.
And the beat goes on. Congrats on biting your tongue. Maybe you could send your bedside buddy a copy of your book…after you send me one. Carry on!