My brother and I were watching Mighty Mouse on Saturday morning cartoons in 1961. The worst pain of my life hit me in the stomach and I doubled over and could not move or talk. My brother yelled for Mother and she called Daddy in from the yard. He carried me in his arms and slid me into the back seat of the car. I've never again been with anyone driving that fast! We went to the hospital in Marietta, but they could find nothing wrong.
Again and again for many weeks, I would have the incredible pain. I
never knew when or where it would start - at school, at church, at a
party. People began to wonder if I was "putting on" for attention.
Finally a doctor in Atlanta had a hunch that I had chronic appendicitis
and scheduled surgery on the chance that he was right.
morning of my operation, Mother and Daddy were beside my hospital bed.
Daddy was nervous and could not stop devouring Krispy Kreme donuts.
Mother, who couldn't eat a bite, kept asking him, "How can you eat at a
time like this?"
They prayed for me and walked me to
the operating room doors. They anxiously waited for word from the
surgeon. He told them that the appendix was just about to burst when he
The doctor and the nurses were very kind,
but I will always remember my parents standing over me saying, "If only I
could bear this pain for you. I'd much rather go through it myself than
to see you suffer."
There is kindness, but then there is tender loving kindness, when someone would willingly sacrifice himself for the good of his loved one.
The Bible describes Jesus this way:
rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man
someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love
for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
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