Coded for Worship

“…all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)

The $50,000 Lunch

with 4 comments

I’ve eaten my fair share of expensive meals over the years. In fact, I watched my daughter eat a $20 hot dog while we were at Disney World earlier this summer. However, on Friday, October 5, 2007, I ate the most expensive lunch of my life.

It started off as a normal Friday. I stopped off that morning to get a cup of coffee and went on about my work day. By the time lunch came, my time was quickly diminishing and I had to pick a place to eat, get my food, and get back to work. I went with the closest place that I knew wouldn’t take much of my time and headed back to work with a plate of chicken and broccoli. When I got back to my desk, I ate my food rather quickly and got back to work. However, it wasn’t very long before I started feeling terrible.

Well before my day was over, I decided to head home early and hope that I would start feeling better. After a little rest at home and something for the pain in my abdomen, I actually felt semi-normal and figured my ordeal was over. Man, was I mistaken…

As the night drew to a close, I ate a bowl of chicken noodle soup and laid down on the couch to watch The Office. I soon fell asleep. An hour or so later, I woke up feeling ten times worse than I did when I laid down on the couch. An hour or two later, I’m laying in the ER at the hospital, in the fetal position, begging to be sliced open as a method of relief. A series of medical tests soon ensued to try and determine what was causing my pain, nausea, etc..

After some various tests and samples, the ER doctor determined that I had a severe case of pancreatitis and told me that it was fairly serious and that people could die as a result of it. He then ordered a CT scan. The only problem with that was the contrast they brought me was 32oz. form. I couldn’t keep 8oz. of chicken soup down — there was no way I could down two 16oz. cups of contrast. After a few sips, and their immediate resurfacing, they took me and ran the CT scan and returned me to the ER room. The CT scan helped the doctor determine that he was wrong. It was not a case of pancreatitis. It was a piece of broccoli that had formed an obstruction in my new intestinal design. My intestine had inflated like a balloon and was in danger of bursting. All the while, I suppose my pancreas was going crazy as a result of the blockage, so it was indeed an emergency.

A few hours laster, I was heavily sedated and was being prepped for surgery. I was thankful on so many levels. One, for the pain medication. Secondly, for the fact that they were going to (Lord willing) get that blockage cleared and I could go home. My wife tells me that, as I was being prepped, I began speaking to the nurses who were attending to me about church and Jesus Christ and their respective views on both as well as one’s expectation of the hereafter. This was very out of character for me to be so outspoken and upfront with strangers, but I think the medicine broke down any barriers that my pride had built up.

100607_18061.jpgI was soon being strapped down onto the operating table — at which point, a woman I had never seen walked up to me, took me by the hand, and gave me the most peaceful and reassuring look as I gave in to the anesthesia. I woke up to my wife talking on the phone and telling someone that I was going to be in the hospital for a week and out of work for a month. Shock set in and I pushed my IV pain medication button and went back to sleep. Five nights later, I was released and sent home. More about my days at home later.

Today, however, I am back at work for the first time since 10/5 and I’m still humbled by God’s sovereign and providential hand on me throughout all of this. He, by grace, turned a $5 lunch into a $50,000 one instead.

Hospital Bill

That morning, Rod sent me a copy of John Piper’s poetic summation of God’s grace:

Not grace to bar what is not bliss,
Nor flight from all distress, but this:
The grace that orders our trouble and pain,
And then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.



Written by Andy

October 31, 2007 at 9:12 am

4 Responses

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  1. Was this lunch from a Chinese restaurant?

    Nicholas David

    November 1, 2007 at 9:52 am

  2. Yes, it was. My 2nd favorite one, in fact. I shan’t be returning any time soon — despite the fact that it was not their fault.

    Andy Thompson

    November 2, 2007 at 10:54 pm

  3. […] Grace, Mercy, Strength, Weakness Since my recent surgery, my physical strength has declined. I suppose that is a natural occurrence — something to be […]

  4. […] October 5, 2007, my life changed forever. It’s amazing how one plate of food can send your life into a major […]

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