March 25, 2021
Dear Saints of Trinity,
Yup, it was a serious heart attack. As I’ve now said to my family, it was close, very close, way too close. My right ventricular artery was 100% blocked by a combination of broken plaque and a blood clot. There were a few additional circumstances that added to the level of the event. They are not important at this point. They will, however, slow the recovery time just a bit. I arrived at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia by ambulance around 4:30 pm on Saturday. I went immediately into the Cath Lab for surgery. I crashed, not quite fully, while in surgery. Again, it was too close. I arrived in ICU by around 7 pm Saturday evening. I share all of those details for only one reason. It was 40 hours later when I was released from the hospital and headed home (to our cabin in Hoodsport). The doctor was astounded. The nurses couldn’t believe it. Friends, it was because of you and the myriad of others praying for me. Now, I want to be really careful with that statement.
Prayer is a powerful force and works in very mysterious ways. If the outcome had been different, it would not have been because the prayers were not working or felt. If I had died, the prayers would have been equally as effective, as they would have surrounded Dorothy and my family. If this had been a debilitating event, it would not have meant the prayers weren’t working. As you prayed, a blanket of warmth was wrapped around me, Dorothy, my children and family, and all others affected by this heart attack. In this case, to be able to walk out of the hospital 40 hours after arriving was pretty miraculous. It is simply how your prayers worked, how, God worked in this situation. It makes me understand that I’m simply not done yet. And for that, I am incredibly grateful. So, here’s what I’m asking.
Please allow me to move through recovery. Just because I left the hospital earlier than expected in no way means the effects of the attack are in any way diminished. It is going to take time, probably around six weeks. I thank God that Holy Week decisions were already made, grateful that we have so many capable saints who can and are willing to step in and take on whatever may be needed. My plan, at this point, is to celebrate my 66th birthday by being back in the saddle again. It’s on May 7th. If things progress faster, I’ll be talking at length with my cardiologist about how and when to get back. I’ll keep the Trinity leaders informed, and they in turn will keep you informed. They really are a remarkable bunch. Now, just one more thing for now.
In the midst of it all, I found it incredibly ironic that the sermon that preceded this heart attack was focused on health. Please know that every item in that message continues to hold true. We are creations of a loving God who wants the best for us. We are surrounded by the kind of love and grace that moves us toward greater health. We have the ability to engage the power of God in ways that will make us whole. I believe it as strongly now as I did before this attack. This attack was coming in spite of the fact that Dorothy and I live a pretty healthy lifestyle. This attack was coming in spite of the fact that I believe in a miraculous God. Now, we take a bit of a step back, knowing that there are additional things we can do to assure even greater health. I assure you; even promise you, that I will be implementing each of those for the rest of my life. And no, I have no plans for retiring any time soon. We still have work to do, and I can’t imagine a better place to do that work than with you in Sequim at Trinity. Please know that I love you but let me ask one more favor. Allow Dorothy and me time to recover. Talking, emailing, even typing exhausts me very quickly. It will take time but I/we will be back with you. If anything changes, we’ll let you know. I promise.
With love and grace,
Some Concerns that we have:
- Pastor Brad and Dorothy for healing following Pastor Brad’s heart attack.
- For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. Prayers for those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
- For all those who are ill from the covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; for all the first responders/essential workers; and for those who are nervous about getting shots.
- For peace in our country.
- For smooth delivery of the vaccine. And please pray for all of the volunteers.
- For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.