Well, there’s no going back now. After 17 years, I’ve turned in my pager at St. Charles Hospital. This has been a week of saying good bye to long term friends and co-workers. My time at Desert Orthopedics, Bend Surgery Center, and St. Charles Hospital has been unbelievably rewarding, but that chapter has drawn to a close. Tearful good byes, feelings of dislocation and sadness mixed with excitement and anticipation.
Our house is under contract, with a very nice couple from Texas schedule to take possession on May 25th, pending a few things. This house, too has been a long term friend, and will be a sad parting in the not too distant future. Right now, though, we’ve really already said good bye to the house, and are looking at the mountain of stuff growing in the garage. A pile for Kenya, a pile for Goodwill, and a mystery pile of stuff we’re not getting rid of, that will wind up in a container sitting somewhere. By the time we leave Bend, we’ll be down to what we can fit in our overstuffed, overweight, oversized suitcases.
Ann and I are really feeling like the little grain of wheat that has to die to come to fruition. Letting go of all these things we love, all these things that are normal, all these things that give us security, feels like a little bit of death. With that, though, we also look forward to blossoming in the next chapter that God has in store.
Sometimes I get a little uncertain, a little doubtful, about the work in Africa. Maybe I won’t be qualified, maybe I won’t be able to handle it, maybe it will just be too hard. But then, while reading a colleague Dan Poenaru’s blog, I saw a picture of a girl in a Kenyan refugee camp, completely crippled, and brought to clinic in a wheelbarrow like so much garden refuse. Then I know that none of my little worries, insecurities, and limitations matter at all. What matters is that there are millions of people suffering terribly in the world, and God has given me the ability to do a little something for a tiny percentage of them.
So the bridges are burning, but we can’t look back.