Saturday, September 8, 2018


As Snow White (with Steve on HIS knees as the Dwarf) long, long ago--lots of bouncing around in that one!

Doesn’t it seem as if people’s body parts are wearing out faster these days? I’d noticed my appliances and computers were going on the fritz at a more rapid rate. Now, though, it’s hips, even more than televisions, that are being swapped out for newer models. One of my dear friends (who’s in her 90’s), got a new hip last spring, and she is now pain-free and back to her former, amazing level of activity. But I also have a dear friend very near my age who faces the same surgery next month, which is awfully young to me. Some of my still-middle-aged buds are on their second round of replacements! What the heck is going on?

Even as I note the defective hip sockets all around me, I mark the number of bum knees going under the knife as well. My hips, while perhaps a bit wider than I would like, are still fully functional. I wish I could say the same about my knees.

As a Catholic child, I spent an inordinate amount of time kneeling in church, from the initial genuflection as I entered the pew, to the many times during the service when the only appropriate place to be was perched on the kneelers. I do not recall ever being bothered by this.

During the past few years, however, this aging Lutheran lady has come to dread the Prayers of Intercession, when we are invited to “kneel as we are able” for the lengthy litany of petitions. Sure, sending communal prayers for the world Heavenward is a vital part of the worship experience. But recently, my knees have begun to ache during the first “Lord, hear our prayer.” By the time we are praying for our rivers and forests, I can only concentrate on my increasing pain. When we are invited to utter personal prayers, silently or aloud, I just want to say, “Owwww!!!!” As a cruel joke, the prayers are immediately followed by a speedy spring-up and segue into the Passing of the Peace, moving rapidly all over the church hugging and shaking hands. In anticipation, I’ve started easing back into a quasi-sitting position on my seat around Prayer #5, so that I can stand up smoothly when the moment arrives.

"Lord, hear my prayer"...for knees that don't hurt!

And it’s not just Sunday mornings. I can no longer kneel comfortably while playing with Aiden and Peter. Clearly, I should consult a doctor about this. Knowing me, I will not. Surgery, for any reason, has zero appeal to me. I braved the agony of a torn rotator cuff for months because I refused to consent to an operation. I imagine I will continue to hobble around until I collapse, clinging to my original joints for dear life.

I’m perfectly willing to consider a replacement when, like my friend Hy, I am 93. Until then, I will count on the body parts I was born with, however unreliable they are. And if it means becoming Quaker (they sit throughout their meetings), so be it!

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