Life can bring us unexpected twists and turns. The worst of these twists and turns can include “life-threatening injuries-” serious threats to our lungs, brains, and even hearts. However, there is another under-reported injury almost as serious to the heart- a “love threatening injury.” I know, because it happened to me!
I can’t remember what I was doing at the time- perhaps lifting heavy boxes of donuts or carryout pizzas- but I do remember the searing pain that shot through my upper right arm. It was unbearable when it happened, but I soon realized that it was only a “freak” muscle pull- it only hurt when I stretched my arm a certain way. I quickly learned to modify my actions and behavior to avoid stretching my arm in ways that generated such enormous pain. Life was good again… or so I thought…
It happened one beautiful Sunday morning just before the opening hymn. I truly love to be seen with my wife, next to my wife, with my arm around her, at church worshipping God and discussing life and the Gospel with other like-minded saints. Just as I had done at least 1,000 times before, I casually leaned back on the pew and automatically stretched my right arm around my wife. I expected to squeeze her shoulders gently and romantically pull her closer to me- to make her feel warm, comfortable, wanted, and loved.
But that’s not what happened. Instead that unbearable, searing pain surged through my right upper arm again, making it impossible to complete that display of love I had delivered on so many Sundays before- to lovingly put my arm around my wife in Sacrament meeting! What about all those lonely years in the bishopric, sitting on the stand missing the pleasure of being seen next to the most beautiful girl in the room, now only to be thwarted by debilitating muscle pain in my hugging arm!
What do you call that? A love-threatening injury!