Today I'm praying for/about:

Today, (in no particular order) I'm praying for...
- Fresh ideas, inspiration and diligence to post regularly again

- My dad fighting mesothelioma too far away for me to hug him

- Children, parents, and teachers everywhere preparing to return to school

- My single friends as they seek God for His guidance in relationships

- Broken relationships; for grace to abound where grace has been withheld

- You; I'm praying for every single person who views this blog.

Thank you for standing in agreement with me for these precious souls!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Plank-eye Syndrome

We have a serious problem in our house lately.  We've had an outbreak of "plank eye".  This should not be confused with pink eye; which is much easier to cure and much less irritating.  No, plank eye is a genetic heart condition that can be terminal and fatal.  The symptoms include, but are not limited to:  pointing fingers, whining, yelling, tattling, tourette-like outbursts of phrases like "MO-OMMMMMM!", "No FAIR!", and "I'm telling!", crossed arms, high noses, rolled eyes, accusations and justifications that start with some variation of "But HE (or she) started it!".  It is characterized by an incessant need for one to mind everyone else's proverbial beeswax and make sure that everyone else is being held accountable for their shortcomings while justifying one's own offenses.  The condition is often more well known as "Hypocrisy".

It.  Is.  Excruciating.  There is no medication on the market yet that will dull the pain (well, not that I can recommend as healthy anyway!), curb the symptoms, or cure the condition.  No eye drops for this one...

Thankfully,  however, our Great Physician, knows a way but it is a difficult process.  The therapy can take years to fully develop the muscles needed to bend that pointed finger, open accusing eyes, stretch one's patience,  and strengthen the loving heart.  I'm trying not to be daunted by this, especially since there are four of them that need this therapy.  Thankfully, our insurance will not be billed, nor will we owe a co-pay.

Did you notice though, I did not say the therapy is free.  There are costs and side effects...  Sore knees from time spent in prayer, loss of productivity for time spent mentoring, missed activities and outings when follow-through is called for, sacrifice of one's own rights when grace is prescribed, weary eyes from watching character building movies, and a dry throat from reading scripture and literature aloud.  It should be noted, however, that pharisaical modes of therapy, such as writing sentences, forced acts of kindness, allowing a sibling to return an offense, justifying others actions based on the patient's actions (i.e. tit-for-tat) and other similar treatments are contraindicated.  Not only do they have questionable efficacy, they can often worsen the condition.  It is further vital that one administering the therapy has been through it themselves, if not, this too, can worsen the condition of the subject.

Note also that the therapy is not guaranteed to work.  In some rare cases, due to recessive, free-will genetics or severe stubbornness, the course of therapy may appear ineffective.  In those cases, one is advised to continue the therapy regardless of indication of efficacy since no two cases' results will look the same.  Neither can it be determined how long the therapy will take from one individual to another.  Further, as this is a genetic disorder, there can be potential for a flare-up after extensive periods of remission.

Please pray for us; we have a long road to recovery.  If there is anyone else out there either suffering the condition or administering the therapy, there are local support groups available.  They often have the symbol of a cross somewhere on the building where they meet and meetings are usually held on either Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings.  Some groups offer alternative meeting times, such as Saturdays and some offer smaller groups that meet in homes.  I pray you find a solid group to help you get through this trying time.  From what I've heard it is well worth all the cost, time and effort.  May God give us strength, bring healing, and provide wisdom.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."  Matthew 7:3-5

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