On April 28, I fell in the driveway between our church and the Rectory (the house in which I live). I thought I did not do much damage but by the next day I was in much more pain.
I went to the Emergency Room at Los Banos Memorial Hospital. They took excellent care of me, and after a few x-rays, diagnosed a break of the right radial crown (a break of the radius bone near the elbow joint).
When the nurse asked me how it happened, he gave me a long list of ailments which would have explained how I fell. I told him that I wished it was one of those, because that would have at least given me a better story. I told him I fell, because I was clumsy.
This is the third broken arm I have had in my life, all of them coming in adulthood. The first one was at 22, this one at 65. I cannot remember the age when I broke it for the second time. The first break, at 22, required no physical therapy and just a forearm splint with an ace bandage.
This most recent break, at 65, required a splint from above my elbow to the tips of my fingers, still wrapped by an ace bandage. After one month of that, I received an “elbow sleeve”, which made my right arm look like I was a cousin of the “Six Million Dollar Man”.
This is my seventh week of physical therapy which, I must say, is helping greatly. We will see what the doctor says in early August.
I am going somewhere with this. When everything is working well, I never give a second thought to the various bones, joints, muscles, organs, etc., that are working together to keep me going in some semblance of health.
However, this situation has reminded me to reflect more deeply on St. Paul’s beautiful words about the Body of Christ, in First Corinthians 12:12-31. And, I have been helped by another correct, although more whimsical, interpretation of this passage. It is the old song called, “Dem Bones”. We have all heard it.
“The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone, the foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone, Now shake dem skeleton bones!” That is just one of the verses. How true that song is!
All of us are connected to each other just like the “members of the body”, as Saint Paul calls them. My arm is broken just south of the elbow joint, but when I have pain, it is my forearm that hurts the most.
When my arm was in the splint/cast and sleeve, I had to use my left arm/hand for almost everything. This caused another bunch of problems, difficulties and hardships. I had to practice every day to be able to write a somewhat-legible signature for the checks that needed to be signed.
Almost every Sunday and daily Mass I celebrate I pray for more vocations in the Church. In our tradition, I pray for more vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate, Consecrated Life, Holy Marriage and Singlehood in Christ.
The Church needs all of us. There is absolutely no one who is not needed. That is the plan of Our Heavenly Father. And, yet, how difficult it is to believe that the people I do not like are needed. They cannot be as needed as I am. They do not do what I do. They do not think like I think.
“But God arranged each part in the body as He intended. If all the members were identical, where would the body be?” (1 Cor. 12:19).
My humbled body, right this second, is shouting to me, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” (1 Cor. 12:26). I hope in a few more weeks it will have a different tune, “If one member is honored, all the members rejoice together with it.”
That is what I have been reminded of since April 28. Thank you, Jesus!