Scripture Reading and An Update from the Author of Heart of a Shepherd

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Psalms 134-136

After a weeklong absence from posting my daily devotional commentaries, it is my joy to return to this spiritual discipline, praying it is a blessing to you who have been faithful followers of this “Heart of a Shepherd” over the years.  Today’s scripture reading is Psalms 134-136.

On a personal note, I am on the mend from two surgeries this month of November 2017; the first, to address kidney stones that lodged in my uterine tube necessitating me postponing my second surgery until the stones were removed.

My second surgery, and one that has been much more painful, was to repair a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder.  I lived with pain in my right shoulder for several years, assuming it was arthritis, I pushed through the pain and never slowed down until July 2017 when I found myself struggling to sleep at night due to shoulder pain.

While one of my great joys in recent years has been directing Hillsdale’s adult choir (some 40+ voices strong); I was unaware what I presumed was arthritis was in fact a bone spur sawing away a tendon in my right shoulder that is my rotator cuff.  My surgeon informed me on Monday I nearly waited too long and the tendon forming my rotator cuff retracted entirely before my surgery last Wednesday, November 15.

At this stage I have a positive report!  The surgeon sutured my tendon into my bone, restoring the blood supply, removed the bone spur and offering me hope of a full restoration.  On a less positive note, I do have degeneration and have to avoid physical use for at least three weeks; otherwise, I risk having to go back in for surgery, something the surgeon assured me, “we do not want to do”.

I have several precautions, warnings, and face several “do not’s” over the next weeks.  My right arm is strapped to my side and will continue so for several weeks.  While I can move my arm from my elbow, thus allowing me to type, I cannot extend my arm forward making typing painful.

I cannot shake hands and am to avoid anyone touching or brushing by my shoulder, less I re-injure the rotator cuff.  I cannot pick up anything heavier than a cup or fork, without risking further injury. Finally, my wife is a wonderful nurse and I dare not take any risk of injury that might inhibit my recovery for her sake and sacrifices.

Lord willing, I plan slip into Hillsdale’s morning service this Sunday, but also taking the precaution of not putting my shoulder at risk.  Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement as I mend.

I will return to my practice of posting daily commentaries this Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 2017.

With the heart of a shepherd,

Pastor Travis D. Smith

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith