Rev. Ross L. Riggs, D Min. Riggs Ministry Minute: When there’s only a minute for ministry http://www.docriggs.com
“Breathe… teeth together, hiss like a snake in short bursts…. Ok, now blow through it… puff out the cheeks, push the air, get past the pain, focus, focus…” If you, Dad, were a Lamaze coach for your lovely wife, the mother of your children, then you said those things in that first sentence. I know you did because I did too, so many years ago. In the Lamaze classes, we dads were subjected to talks, exercises and videos that no dad-to-be should go through. It’s almost medieval! I still suffer some form of PTSD every time someone says the word “wink.”
Okay, dads let me ask you this. If you’re like me, it’s now about thirty years later, ‘Are you facing some kind of serious, perhaps daily physical pain?’ For me, it’s my back and today is one of those days. If you are like me and you have some kind of pain, like I do, I would imagine that you will agree that the pain we have, as bad as it is, still could not equal that of childbirth. Am I right? Stick with me on this. Now, imagine yourself in one of your worst pain days. (I love the hospital or doctor’s 10 scale: ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst, how would you rate your pain?’ THIRTY-FIVE!) Here you are on a ‘35’ kind of day and here comes your loving wife. She gets right down in your face and holds up a pencil, inches away from your nose, which now, without your bifocals, it looks like a telephone pole! A blurry telephone pole, but a telephone pole none-the-less. And now, your well-meaning wife says, while holding this telephone pole up inches from the tip of your nose, “Focus… breathe through it…. Hiss like a snake… (Imitating the hissing noise)…. Okay, blow… puff your cheeks…”
You probably have never, ever hit your wife in anger in all your years of marriage. That is about to end! Am I right?
What were we thinking all of those years ago with the Lamaze thing? By our third child, we had gotten well beyond the trendy Lamaze and now, the hue and cry from the ‘labor and pre-delivery room’ (Sounds like something you’d find on a loading dock, doesn’t it?) is much more in line with our own thinking when the painful days are upon us… GIVE ME DRUGS!
My youngest daughter just gave birth to her first baby. The appropriate application of the right amount of the correct drug at just the right time made for a wonderful (okay, bearable) experience of childbirth. There are times, when the pain level is up there, that we need to do what the doctor has prescribed, take what he or she has ordered and quit beating ourselves up for when those days happen. We did not choose the painful path, we can only react or respond to those days when they occur. My prayer is that when I am in the grip of pain, I will have the same composure, the patience and the grace for my family when they try to help as my dear wife had for me during those early Lamaze days. I am quite surprised that I have not gone through the last thirty years with a #2 pencil impaled in my forehead. I love you, honey.