A week before the knee replacement – Improv on Philippians 2:5-11

It’s been a long time
since this knee could bend
at the name of Jesus, or anything else –

the challenge to clamber
over rocks on a hillside
hiking with teenagers
in spite of their playlists and texts,

the sharp cry of a small child
skinned up from a fall
or wanting to show me an ant,

the longing to gather
a handful of sand at the beach
and let it run through my fingers
remembering someone
whose life slides like grains
into the sweet saltiness of the ocean.

(those may actually be the name of Jesus
just in some other Pentecost.)

And I am anticipating
a certain emptying
to let go my signature impairment —

emptying anesthesia, for one —
a fold in reality,
protecting me from what
I can never grasp,

and being humbled to
catheters, johnnies, and opioids
in spite of not liking the idea
of any one of them,
being obedient to physical therapy,
not to speak of the
continuous motion machine
which is not …
No! absolutely not a cross.

So what kind of mind
is Paul suggesting
that I am supposed to have?

Perhaps a light one
that slips into anthroplasty
on my way to confessing
the truest Name of all –

and bends for a hill walk,
a child’s call of fear and joy,
and handfuls of love
for people I know or will never meet,

also many other unexpected
holy kneelings.

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26 Responses to A week before the knee replacement – Improv on Philippians 2:5-11

  1. sugruerm says:

    Such authentic telling must be lived experience! If yours, prayers and best wishes.

  2. Maren says:

    Thanks, Rosalie — yes, surgery is next Tuesday. I can certainly use the prayers!!

  3. Kristin Firth says:

    Maren,

    Best to you in this upcoming surgery , and utmost wisdom and dexterity to your surgean!

    Blessings,

    Kris Firth

    >

  4. fosteringyourfaith says:

    Thank you for your reflection – wise and thoughtful words that I will share with those facing surgery. Blessings on your time of healing and new dexterity!

  5. Rev. Jean Thompson says:

    Maren: who but you would think of ‘celebrating’, offering up in poetry and prayer a knee replacement. Thanks for giving readers a chance to hold you in prayer during this time.
    Blessings, Rev. Jean

  6. Elsa Marshall says:

    Dearest Maren, As I face full shoulder replacement surgery this Thursday I will also hold you close on my heart and in my prayers. Thank you for this insightful, helpful, beautiful piece. It offers me joy and perspective. Shalom with love, Elsa

    • Maren says:

      Elsa, I will certainly be holding you in prayer this thursday — maybe for shoulder surgery a prayer based on Joshua and Aaron holding Moses’ arms up — may you be held by those with medical skill and by so many friends.

  7. LL says:

    Prayers! Prayers! And more prayers!!

  8. Jane Fisler Hoffman says:

    This is a keeper to share with others. Thank you. And healing mercies.

  9. Thinking of you in the run-up to your op day. Offer of rides and food still open – and, in my visiting, I’ve learned that surgeons often don’t use the continuous motion machine these days, revised opinions about when to use it. So maybe you’ll not have to deal with that.

  10. Maren says:

    Thanks, Nancy and I will let you know. I will definitely have the continuous motion machine and I am hoping that I can go to rehab.

  11. Dear Maren: I wish you every grace as you take this huge step. My replacement is now a year and a half healed. I couldn’t be happier. It takes a long time for the soft tissue to heal, but as it does you’ll be amazed at how well you feel. My doc did use the continuous motion machine and it was helpful getting me move when it retrospect I would have opted not to. Blessing and love, June

  12. Maren says:

    Thank you June — I was told to do this in 2001 but until I went on Medicare in march it was completely beyond my ability. I look forward to it and I’ll be wearing maxi skirts!

  13. Elaine Bolitho says:

    Blessings for your successful surgery and recovery Maren – these ops do make a real difference to our quality of life.

    Love and prayers

    Elaine Bolitho

  14. Elaine Gaetani says:

    Prayers for your healing! Will be traveling out of country but will contact you upon return mid-June. Unable to complete my assignment. Can complete over summer if still feasible . Talk later! Prayers upon prayers for you dear Maren.

  15. Maren says:

    Thank you so much, Elaine!

  16. Gail Orlando says:

    Prayers for you from Ron and I. We hope your new knee is working great after this surgery! Much love and blessings! Gail

  17. Maren says:

    thanks so much, Gail and Ron. Gail, your knee surgery continues to be an inspiration for me.

  18. Maren,
    Thank you for vividly sharing your inner thoughts about knee surgery. You touched my heart and I hope your healing has begun. I will “Park and Pray at 1:11 pm” for you.
    Abundant Peace and Blessings.

    Rev. Cleo

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