"THE FINGER OF GOD"
By: Dan Revoir
THE FINGER OF GOD IN MY LIFE
Darkness!! Pitch-black utter darkness in which there
is not even a hint of light! It was like the time we took a family vacation
He told us that our eyes would get accustomed to no light and explained to us that we were in total, utter darkness and would not see anything. If we were subjected to that environment for a long period of time, we would go blind. And we wonder why God’s Word tells about men walking in darkness.
The thing that amazed me was that even though I was totally blind, my other faculties worked. I could think, hear and feel even move very carefully. Of course, we were all quite relieved when the guide turned on the light - terror was gone.
After a near deadly fall from the roof of the house my son-in-law was building, I had several surgeries. After the first surgery I was hallucinating and everything became surreal. Let me share what was going through my thoughts. The doctors had discovered a fat embolism in my blood stream and that it could be fatal.
On awakening the pitch-black darkness was filled with terror because I couldn’t see anything. But my mind was fully alert; and my senses were sharp. I knew something was terribly wrong and there was no one there to help me in the blackness. I kept calling and calling, begging someone to help me. I knew I was hurting and in my spirit I knew that once again I had started another journey through the valley of the shadow of death and that my enemy was very close to me. I had to get to a hospital! But this was not a hospital; it was like a truck garage with tools and grease smeared all over. The blackness was now a dirty, dingy gray and all the pipes had water running down them. The boards had mottled colors and when I looked at them the colors ran off like marbles.
I was bruised and had grease all over me. The pajamas I was wearing were soaked and wet; I was cold and needed a blanket to wrap up in. But I was lost and afraid of being alone, and terrified because I knew that I was in great danger unless I could get someone to rescue me.
I started yelling louder; there must be someone that can hear me. I’m in a truck shop; water is leaking everywhere; I’m having unspeakable pain but no one will give me any medication for the pain. Where is my family? Where is my beloved Martha; she will make sure that someone helps me. So I cry out for her over and over as loudly as I could. Please Martha, please darling, don’t leave me alone! Please tell me what is happening.
One of the truck repairmen came in and asked what I wanted (a nurse, I guess) and I told him a warm blanket because I was cold and wet. After he brought the blanket he started to leave and I told him, “Sir, I have to get to a hospital.” He smiled and said, “You are in a hospital.”
Meanwhile back at the truck garage, I was fully cognizant of all that was wrong with me. But I was still in the twilight zone mentally. When Martha came in to see me I begged her to get me some help which I desperately needed. And of course she told me, “You are in a hospital. This is the Spectrum East.” She said, “Dr. William LaPenna, your cardiologist, was here to see you this morning and will come again tomorrow.” She kept pointing out the flowered border that decorated the room. I begged her not to leave me so they wouldn’t lose me. I didn’t want to be in the truck repair garage!
Dr. LaPenna did come to see me the next day and from that point on this was a hospital, even though water still poured out of the overhead pipes of the orthopedic bed. I even asked my son-in-law Travis, when he was visiting if he could see the water leaking out of the overhead pipes on the bed.
There was a tremendous concern about my confusion and everyone would ask, “Do you know where you are?” (Well, of course, a truck repair garage.) “Do you know which day this is?” No clue! I did tell them that I was at a hospital and they had just changed the name to Spectrum.
I remembered what had happened that morning. I went to help my son-in-law, Jonathan, known to close family and friends as JD, start shingling the roof on his new house. As we were on the roof, the first step was to put on the drip edge; I scooted onto a piece of sheathing board. Knowing that it was slippery I was being extra careful. Being as cautious as I could, I started to hand JD - who was below me on the roof - an edge molding and sat down as flat as I could. I started sliding toward the edge of the roof. With nothing to hang on to and no hammer to sink the claws into roof boards to slow my descent or break my fall, I went over the edge.
I purposely tried to twist my body to land on my left leg and my back. The fifteen-foot fall had done its damage. Again, this would have been a good place to pass out as the pain was unbelievable but it was not even close to what it was going to be. My left thigh was about the size of a huge watermelon. There was no doubt that the leg was broken. JD called 911 as soon as he could control his sobbing. We love each other as true father and son. I’m so proud of him being my son from a different mother.
At the hospital about “1,000 x-rays” were taken. The distal femur was broken above the knee so they had to put a pin through the left leg so that it could hang in traction until they could operate. The left ankle had smashed into the heel, crushing the whole foot into pieces. They informed us that several surgeries would be needed. A decision would be made later about what to do with my broken back. A specialist in each particular field would perform each surgery.
They sent a psychologist to examine me because of the confusion I was experiencing. He theorized that it could be from the fat embolism resulting from the fall. The doctor gave us no diagnosis as to the recovery. The fat embolism, if it reached my heart or my brain, could be fatal.
Pain, pain, pain - will it never stop? Push the little button every ten minutes for more morphine. But I have to sleep so I can forget about the pain. But even sleep eludes me. It’s a never-ending cycle. God, please help me! Please don’t leave me!
One by one, we started on each of the broken parts of the left leg. The distal femur required an incision about 14 inches long on my thigh with plates and screws to hold the pieces of bone together.
Dr. Bohay, the orthopedic surgeon, explained the next surgery that must be done in order to reshape the heel. He would be taking out the crushed pieces and putting them back together with screws and plates. That would be the fourth surgery in the last 12 days.
Despair overwhelmed me and the prospect of another surgery was more than I could bear. But God had something very special for me; a very little thing but what an encouragement. I knew it was from God.
Dr. Humphries, an internal medicine specialist, became a support system for me with his daily visits. He was not a large man but carried himself almost like an officer of rank in the service. Impeccably dressed as in the English attire, all he needed was an ascot. Extremely intelligent and very articulate.
We talked about literature and he suggested some books that my grandchildren would enjoy reading and about motorcycles, because I had owned several. His visits gave me a short interim of time to forget about pain.
Several days before my fourth surgery was scheduled he walked into the room, filling it with his presence. We greeted each other as old friends. I hadn’t noticed that his hand was behind him but after a few moments he said, “Here, I would like you to have this.” And he put a little motorcycle into my hands! It was made of bent wire twisted in little circles with rubber wheels wrapped in wire, a perfect reproduction of a Honda motorcycle “My brother picked this up in
On the day of my surgery, as they wheeled me into the operating room, I was carrying my little motorcycle like a child clutching a security blanket. Everyone in the room laughed and had to examine my new treasure. They were so impressed with it and the wonderful doctor when I told them who gave it to me. I was at peace as they told me, “You are going to sleep, now hang on to your cycle.
They started rehab very soon. We began the next day after surgery. I thought I was hallucinating again because the nurses and an orderly brought in a suit of armor. At least that is what it appeared to be; a plastic clam shell with a hinged front and back. They advised me that it would be necessary for me to put on this contraption before I got out of bed, to protect my broken back. We struggled for about 15 to 20 minutes to get me locked into my portable armor. As I sat there I felt like the Knight of the Woeful Countenance, Don Quixote from The Man of LaMancha, who went about jousting windmills in his quest for good against evil. Then they brought me my fiery steed: a four-legged walker, all polished aluminum and plastic handgrips. It was a pathetic means of transportation if ever I saw one.
Struggling to stand up with my new clam shell, I received an imperative command, “Do not put any weight on your left leg.”
My question was, of course, “Then how do I move?”
“You must move the walker ahead and then hop on your good leg and you just keep repeating the process. You have to do this rehabilitation.”
So I tried. Sure enough, I went three or four feet and they were all cheering me on, as though the old knight had been successful in his first joust and had unseated his opponent. But there was a serious problem. While attempting to hop up and down, the bones in my left leg, heel and ankle felt like a bag of marbles, as they all jarred together without a full cast on it!
I told them it hurt too much and possibly we would have to try crutches. I had used a pair of crutches for about a year in 1982 after Martha and I had been run down by a snowmobile (see “Please Let Me Die”). So there was a serious doubt in my mind; will it hurt to walk on crutches?
I know possibly what you are thinking and I do not blame you. Let me see if I can paraphrase it for you sufficiently. If you just had open-heart surgery and having all that pain, what in the world were you doing on that roof? You must be dumber than a rock! I am in total agreement and I must plead insanity (maybe temporary) or take the Fifth Amendment or as the Africans say, “We shall not dispute.”
So they brought me a set of crutches. With fear and trepidation, I launched out on my latest quest. It worked. I could hear the strains of the music from “Rocky” as I walked down the hallway of the hospital. Yes, there was pain because of the recent heart bypass and a bicep surgery. I had defeated my enemy and this time I did not have to wear my suit of armor. The doctors had said it wasn’t necessary. Once again, in spite of my smashed leg, I had just won a victory, Don Quixote of La Mancha.
After several operations, the surgeon told Martha that I probably would never walk again.
AFTER THE FALL FROM THE ROOF...
Several months later I went back for a checkup, each surgeon had performed their different surgeries. They x-rayed my back, thigh, heel and the ankle which had been completely reconstructed.
Dr. Asperheim was the first one that I was to see that day. He jammed the x-rays into the light box and I felt sick to my stomach. I have seen hundreds of x-rays but this was terrible. I couldn’t believe that the left distal femur could be shattered that badly and still be saved. It was sickening. There were huge gaps where they were no bones -- only the steel plate that held it together.
He thought that he would have to do bone grafts from another part of my body because sections of the femur were missing.
More pain from surgery…
More pain from the donor site…
Will it never stop?!
How much more can I take?!
The following week God spoke to me saying, “The bones will heal.”
The impact hit me! God is speaking to me. Very humbly I said, “God - I claim that healing in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and nothing will make my faith falter. Thank you, Lord God for your promise.” And I resumed my praise to God.
I looked at the swollen mass. There was supposed to be a heel and ankle and I thought of the pain that I was having, still needing to take Vicodin at bedtime just so I could sleep. I was so very careful not to put any weight on it, yet sometimes I would misstep and put a little weight on it and the reward was pain. But I knew what God had spoken to my spirit and my faith would not falter.
Strange thing. Weeks later, about five days before my next check up, I started having pain in my leg and foot. Not your usual “I need drugs” pain but it was like an electrical shock pain that kept running up and down my thigh. It didn’t really hurt but it was very unusual. I tried to describe it to Martha and she dismissed it as “too much exercise.” That lasted about two days and subsided.
Then came the day to see the surgeons again; a barrage of x-rays was taken and we were ushered into his office. The surgeon came in, grabbed the x-rays of the femur and jammed them into the light box.
He exclaimed “IT IS A MIRACLE!”
“All the bones are healed. Start walking on it! Tell Dr. Bohay I want you to walk. Walk yourself off your crutches.”
Did God speak to me? (No doubt in my mind.)
Is God faithful? (Let God be true and all men be liars.)
Would God speak to others? (Surely He has and will but will we be listening?)
How do you explain this? (I can’t, it was the Finger
of God in Dan Revoir’s life.)
Great is our God and greatly to be praised!
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Finger of God in Kenya - Black Diamond
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