It began to fill my body last night at precisely 9:18pm. I know this because the minute I felt the “infamous ache”, I turned and caught the time out of the corner of my eye. The time seared itself into my mind and came to represent the exact moment I crossed over to the other side. The side filled with slow boiling misery.

You know that you’ve crossed over when despite your best efforts to muscle back it’s intrusion; it prevails anyway and fills your throat with the mucus of infection. Once your will is broken and you’ve resigned yourself to its sickening sovereignty, you begin the indefinite prison sentence in the concentration camp of nasal congestion and swollen glands. Last night, this was my story; this was my song, praising my Savior, all the night long. (a “Blessed Assurance” reference for those of you unschooled in church history and hymnology)

To make matters worse, adding scorn to scars, I’m at a leadership conference and last night I was in a hotel room with two other fellow pastors, Bruce and Ed. For anyone who is a “sickness baby”, you know that not being home in your own bed when you’re sick, being either coddled by your mom or cuddled by your wife, is akin to Hates itself.

I lay there with crappy pillows and scratchy blankets trying to manufacture the cozy feelings of home. It wasn’t happening. To make matters worse, Bruce was snoring and I forgot my “barn fan” to create the white noise that cancels out all sound variables. I tried to cover my head that was pounding with pain, but when I would do this, my head wasn’t propped up high enough to keep my nose from draining back into my throat. So I was either using my pillow as a muffler, or a wedge all night long. The sheets felt like burlap. The comforter was anything but comfortable. The pillows collapsed into pancake thickness—what’s inside hotel pillows anyway? Needless to say, I wasn’t finding the healing touch I pined for.

I’m on a break at the conference right now, infected blood coursing through my veins.

I thought I’d record this for posterity.


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