The Playhouse





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When my daddy was diagnosed with a disease that began attacking his organs, his kidneys were the first to fall victim. Since the kidneys function as the filtering systems to remove body impurities, it didn’t take long for the decline in Daddy’s health. His coloring turned an ashen gray, and his breathing was laborious as he drifted into a deep sleep.

For him dialysis was his only hope for survival. When the emergency decision was made, Daddy was linked to an artificial kidney that extended his life an additional five years.

However, life was never the same for him or his family. Three times a week at the same time every week, he checked into the dialysis unit where a needle was inserted into his arm. For the next four to five hours, his mechanical kidney flushed impurities and excess fluids from his body.

The dialysis days were always long – often marked with nausea, painful cramps and always the motionless hours that the needle, wires, tubes, and machine dictated. Did Daddy ever want to skip a day? Did he wrestle with the thoughts of refusing dialysis? Yes on both, but as difficult as dialysis days were, they were still life-sustaining. No dialysis would mean no life.

There’s a verse in John 15 that’s filled with contemplation: “I am the vine, you are the branches. If any man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” As I’ve meditated on this verse, it’s reminded me of my dialysis experiences with Daddy. It was imperative that he be hooked up to the purifier in order for him to have life. As a believer, I can be renewed spiritually by staying attached to the Vine. Praying, reading and meditating on His Word are keys to this spiritual cleansing and power – of being attached to the Vine.

Here’s where the problem begins. The world’s hectic schedule screams for my attention and programs me to “race mode.” It’s busy, busy, busy with much of it “good” busy. Isn’t packing and sorting for our move a necessary good? This busy dilemma challenges me to a few short Bible verse reads and a “give me this” and “please bless this” abbreviated prayer time. The result is obvious – no real abiding or attachment to the Vine.

If Daddy had decided to spend a few minutes on his dialysis machine instead of the long hours, his body would have succumbed much sooner to the poison in his system. It took time for the cleansing and renewal.

Branches don’t produce overnight. It takes steady nourishment from the vine and time. So it’s my choice – a “drive-through” experience or a yielded Mary posture at Christ’s feet. It’s a private choice, but the result is always public.

Camille Anding