Thursday, 19 March 2015

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness....

I am writing this from room no. 505 of Bethany hospital.  Dad is sitting up in bed no. "A" of this twin share room, reading his bible and occasionally looking at the IV line to see if the drip is flowing as it should.   The room is a corner room with windows on both sides - and both look out on greenery. 

It's 9 PM and we are back in the hospital.   In the adjoining bed, Sister Vandana Shinde is getting ready to leave.  She is the wife of Pastor Pravin Shinde of Airoli - and the older sister of our dear and faithful JSK co-worker Daniel Kautikkar.   All three are waiting for her discharge to come through - some snag in the mediclaim means that they are still here.   Daniel showed us the latest picture of his one and a half month old son.  Mother and son are far away in Daund - where Yerusha will be till the baby is 3 months old.

We don't really want to be back in this beautiful hospital room - but sometimes you have to do things that are not quite what you want to do...

The trigger for Dad's readmission was his liver function test that we had done yesterday.  Picking up the results this afternoon was a shock.  Instead of going down from the already high over all level of 19 last week, the reading for yesterday's liver function test was a chart-popping billirubin level of 31!   Could it be a clerical error? 

Dad has been pretty well over the past few days.  He read the paper and went for a small walk each evening.  We met guests and he ate with us at every meal.  We are so grateful for the blessings he has received.  His itching is far less and he has had a good appetite for most of the time.   

But his urine had remained pretty brown and his stool was pretty pale.  And his eyes remained the shocking yellow that we see when he opens them wide...

So when we called up Dr. Stephen to tell him about the results he asked us to immediately have Dad admitted again.

Dad of course used the opportunity to make new friends.  Here he is waiting for me to process his registration to Room 505 - and he has already made another new friend.

On admission they flushed the external stent to make sure it had not been blocked.  The ICU doctor found that fluid went in easily, and came out without trouble, so it does not seem to be clogged up.   But what has happened to the internal stent we just don't know.  It doesn't seem to be working. 
And so we are here on the next twist and turn of this journey.

Earlier this evening I asked Dad what he wanted to say to those who are reading this blog.  These are his words:  "I want to give the same message:  God is in total control.  There is no worry, no anxiety, no fear.  He knows everything that is going to happen, and what ever does happen is for our good."

Dad is currently hooked back up with an IV line - which is delivering his antibiotics efficiently into his veins.   And the external stent is now fully open - instead of the every four-hourly 15 minutes that we were doing at home.  His kidneys seem to be working fine - the blood test shows a normal serum creatinine level.  We will repeat a liver function tomorrow and see.   

He is able to drink water and enjoyed a snack of idlis and coffee that I brought up from the hospital canteen just after admission.

Once again we just sense the great tide of prayer that is going up on our behalf.

Life has some interesting twists and turns.  Tomorrow Sheba has her driving test (soon we should have 2 legal drivers for the Papaya).  We were expecting to meet the authorities in Bhiwandi to get the legal papers for Yohan - but that seems to be postponed too as they said that they would be having a seminar and so we should come on Monday.   

We realise again just how fragile everything is - and also just how much the love of God is present for us.  It's no accident that Jesus is called the Good Shepherd.  He knows the way ahead, and walks before us, besides us, caring for us, leading and guiding, protecting and correcting.

What is the road ahead?  Well, like sheep following our shepherd up a mountain path, we really don't know.  It may seem that the next bend is the last one - but He really knows - and our work is to follow him. 

Currently Dad is scheduled to meet with Dr. Stephen on Saturday morning.  Our plan last week was for Dad's bilirubin levels to come down and then to proceed for his major surgery on Monday 23rd of March.   Now?  Let's see.    We know that every day is a day of experiencing grace.

As Dad lies in bed - ready for another hospital night - we remember the song he used to sing to us when we were small:

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
All I have to do is to follow
My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
All I have to do is to follow
Strength for today, is mine all the way
And all that I need for tomorrow
My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
All I have to do is to follow

That has been the story of Dad's life.  From his very beginnings - all through till today.  God's grace lived large.  God's mercies, received and given on.  As our Lord so clearly told us: "Freely you have received, freely give."   We have seen this lived out over and over again by Mum and Dad.  

Sometimes it has been messy (make that many times) but as we look back, we are overwhelmed with the clear note of love that shines through it all.

Mum brought Dad and myself some supper - Weiner Schnitzel!  
Dad could only have some mashed potatoes and gravy, but I tucked in for both of us!

How much more time does Dad have?   He tells all and sundry that he is 75 - in which he counts his 9 months after conception and the current 'running year.'   By conventional standards he is 73 years old.  Will Dad live another 10 years?  Five?  One?  Is His time to meet the Lord even sooner?   We really don't know - but we do know something:  Dad lives very much in the present - his cheery greeting of all and sundry continue to bring light to all his care-givers.   And whenever he is called to meet his Maker - Dad will take that last bit of his current journey with great joy and peace.

And so we come to the end of this day.  Dad resting.  The family - Oma, Sheba and our 3 kids at home.  I am on night duty with Dad (and slipping out for a few minutes to upload this on the blog from the computer at JSK).   

The world is spinning.  

A new day is coming.  

Fresh opportunities for grace are close at hand.


  1. Thank you for this blog Andy
    Your dear family us in our prayers

  2. Thank you for the update Andi--we'll be praying. Another song of tester-year comes to mind: "I know who holds the future and I know He holds my hand; with God things don't just happen, everything by Him is planned; so as I face tomorrow, with it's problems large and small, I'll trust the God of miracles--Give to Him my all!" He's in charge, and He holds you all. Blessings, Cecil

  3. Thank you for the update. Your blogs encourage us. Praying for uncle and you all. In His love Gibu and Alphy

  4. It was a joy spending some time with Dad. Hope he gets well and comes to our Church. A regret he mentioned during my time with him. Looking forward to having you at our Church Bro Ray!