He who forms the mountains,
who creates the wind,
and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth—
the Lord God Almighty is his name.
- Amos 4:13
“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
“‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’”
- Ezekiel 17:22-24
My wife has been in a whirlwind, it seems. She had two biopsies. The first got no usable tissue, so they did another one. Due to her rapidly failing health – mostly lack of energy – she was fitted for a temporary catheter in her jugular for kidney dialysis. They did not wait for the biopsy result. With additional bloodwork and a chest x-ray to verify the absence of various virus strains and bloodborne pathogens, she was qualified to have dialysis. That started on Thursday, just as the biopsy results came in. The biopsy did not find a specific disease, but there was inflamed tissue, meaning that if the inflammation could come down, her kidneys might function better, maybe on their own.
They started her on an aggressive dose of steroids. Her blood sugar and blood thinning are going crazy with a lot of irritating side effects, but at times she seems better.
Her second dialysis session came on Saturday. Afterwards, as we drove home, she lamented that her years of wanderlust were over. She’d never travel again, with Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday dialysis sessions.
Rather than argue that there was hope that the steroids would jump start her kidneys again, I went a different route. I told her that we were going on a little day trip on Sunday morning, so watch a TV sermon early and get dressed for travel.
I mapped out a trip and felt that I could run the course without getting lost. Only a few of the last miles were on a limited access, four-lane highway. Everything else was back roads. We saw a lot of golf courses. Within 45 minutes we were in the little sliver of West Virginia between Pennsylvania and Ohio. Being so close to our home, I never imagined how mountainous it would look. We reached a peak near West Liberty University, and we both gasped, realizing how far down the farmer’s fields were that were next to the road – narrow road and no shoulder and a long way down.
Were there cedar trees on the tops of those mountains? Maybe, but these might not have been the mountain heights of Israel. The trees made the vistas so spectacular. The trees created these dark shaded tunnels and then you suddenly reached the peak of the hill, usually in a curve, unsure where the road went, but then you could see far, far away.
We marveled at God’s creation. In Wheeling, WV, we switched to the valley road and drove up the West Virginia side of the Ohio River.
If my wife never gets off dialysis, I want her to know that she is not imprisoned by the disease. She can do some travelling. On the way home, she was asking if we could buy airline tickets for the grandchildren to be able to visit – so we could share our adventures with them.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.