They're all linked in the rather strange last 12 hours of my life.
Believe it or not I turned my ankle again. The other one. Nothing as manly as jogging this time. Walking back from an Elders meeting I had one of those "one minute happily pottering on a dark pavement, the next lying on the floor in agony" moments. It hurt. Really hurt.
Now if you read my blog you will know that I am an ankle turning expert. I know a good sprain when I feel one. But this was worse. So I rang home and the cavalry was dispatched in the form of my 18 year old son and my wife. They helped me hobble the 100 metres back to our house. After an hour of ice and ibuprofen the pain was not better and so it was off to hospital.
Not being able to walk on your own suddenly renders you totally dependent on others. Things that should be easy become difficult. You need help. You realise that you're not in control.
We arrived at A & E at the same time as an elderly couple. She was in a wheel chair and very smiley. We compared bared ankles. She asked me how I was, with much sympathy. I emphasised the seriousness of my injury, before doing the necessary and reciprocating with a question about her injury. She'd fallen down the stairs! I felt that I'd been trumped and decided to play down my situation.
She was calm. Friendly. Gentle. Gracious. Loving. And had to use the wheel chair most of the time to get around. Yet that didn't seem to dampen her spirits. Though she said that she didn't like being thought of as "an old lady who falls!". She asked if I would like a cup of tea; her husband was getting one. I declined and she was wheeled in to be seen.
2 hours later I was still waiting. Patiently. Sort of. When her husband emerged and offered to buy me a brew again. I went for a Mocha and we got chatting. It transpired that they had been missionaries in Zambia and then he was a Pastor in Northwood. We had lots of mutual friends and shared experiences.
What I'd experienced was a woman with the peace of Christ.
I was struck how knowing Jesus both conquers the fear of not being in control and makes it easier to accept dependence with grace. Because we're all dependent and not in control.
King David was a mighty warrior who faced some tricky situations (though he never had to deal with Kingston Hospital Emergency Department at 3 a.m.!). When faced with his own fear in a situation he can't control he says in Psalm 31:14-16
But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
There is a God of unfailing love who you can trust. He is the one who has a grip on your life, from beginning to end.
There are a lot people in America who need to know that this morning. They are terrified of a future led by Donald Trump. Frankly I don't blame them. Though I would like to sit in on a meeting between him and Putin!
If they, or any of us, want peace in the midst of political, emotional and financial turmoil, they need to know that there is a God who loves them who has not lost a grip on history, or on their lives.
I got X-rayed in the end. It's not broken. I was sent home. Though Dr Wikipedia has diagnosed it this morning as a "High Ankle Sprain", which is much more serious and painful than your regular sprain. So I'm happy.