Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:2-4 (NIV)
I have been to physical therapy for a couple of months now. My therapist’s name is Azalia. She is from Puerto Rico and talks one hundred miles an hour, but I think she knows what she is doing. At least, her work gives me some relief. She mostly does a gentle massage of my neck and shoulder blades and then, puts heat packs on and hooks me up to the “E-stim”, a machine that sends electrical stimulation to my muscles forcing them to relax. The last few appointments have been in the afternoons, and I have fallen sound asleep as the heat and “e-stim” did their work. Let me tell you, it is really hard to go back to work after that! Once, in February, Azalia went to a conference and so Frank did my therapy. Frank and his wife own the practice, but he generally works in another office. Frank is a big tall guy from Holland. I could hardly understand what he said, but I loved listening to his extraordinary accent. Frank was very different from Azalia. He made me do exercises, then, gave my muscles especially my right arm and shoulder a wrenching workout. He killed me, but surprisingly when he was done, I felt even better than after Azalia’s kind manipulations. At that session, Frank also gave me a sheet of exercises to do at home. The page came with a rubber band to stretch and strengthen my back and shoulders. He believed that much of my pain is caused by lazy muscles not doing their job of supporting my spine. I did the exercise for a few days, then, got busy, then, got sick and finally ignored them altogether. Today, Azalia was on vacation, and I had Frank again. He ran through the same routine he had last time and while he was pulling my shoulder practically out of its socket, asked me about the exercises. I mumbled something about them, but after prodding, lied and said I had been doing them. He frowned. I felt guilty, but tried not to let on and promised myself I would start doing them again. After more of a workout, he shook his head. “You should be farther along if you are doing the exercises. When you come in the next time, I want you to show me how you are doing them. You must be doing them wrong.” I was caught. Lying. And I flashed back to sixth grade when I told the first lie I can remember saying when I knew better. And now, I have to get with it to do those exercises at least twice a day until Monday when I see him again. I better show some progress. I need someone to hold me accountable in other areas of my life, too. To guard my tongue, to read my Bible more, to pray, to be kind. That’s what friends are for. And Frank. Excuse me, I better get going on those exercises now.