I won’t ever get over an incident that happened 2 years ago. It is indelibly printed on my mind. I woke up one morning and I was in a total panic! I could not speak at all. I had to shake my wife to show her what had happened because I could not utter a word! My tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth! My wife looked inside my mouth and she was horrified! She works in the medical community, but this was something very new. It was as if my tongue completely melded to the roof of my mouth! She was now concerned and got on the phone to schedule a doctors appointment for me. I could only get in the next day. By that time, another strange physical phenomenon materialized. My right hand had become extremely weak to the point I could not hardly grasp anything. I could barely use it to type on a keyboard. Now one of my chief ways to communicate now (writing and typing) and I could barely accomplish that! The doctor was mystified. He had never seen anything like this. Surgery was out of the question. He said the risks were enormous. He said it required much thought. He did not want to act in haste. I wrote on a piece of paper to him what the implications were if they could do nothing. He said this, “It would not be good. You may be able to get a few fluids in you, but you would not be able to eat. Towards the end, we may keep you comfortable and intravenously feed you.” Then the doctor was hesitant to say more. I wrote, “Doc, tell me the truth.” Finally, the doctor said, “It will be a slow agonizing death as you wither away.” I was already speechless so a morbid joke resonated in my mind thinking about my current situation.
Two weeks passed by and I lost a lot of weight, it was now Shabbat and I was preparing for my slow death. Somehow, I was lead to read Psalm 122.
1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let’s go to the YHVH’s house!” 2 Our feet are standing within your gates, Yerushalayim; 3 Yerushalayim, that is built as a city that is compact together; 4 where the tribes go up, even YHVH’s tribes, according to an ordinance for Yisrael, to give thanks to YHVH’s name. 5 For there are set thrones for judgment, the thrones of David’s house. 6 Pray for the peace of Yerushalayim. Those who love you will prosper. 7 Peace is within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces. 8 For my brothers’ and companions’ sakes, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” 9 For the sake of the house of YHVH our God, I will seek your good.
At that moment, unbeknownst to my wife, I realized that I secretly harbored bitterness toward the City of the Great King. A throne of judgment was set against me. A deep grieving resonated out of my spirit and I repented of everything I secretly said and thought about this beloved City. Instantly and miraculously, my right arm regained its strength and my tongue was released from the roof of my mouth! I shouted praises to Yerushalayim! I declared I would never think a thought or speak against her within myself ever again. My wife never knew I was harboring these thoughts. She rejoiced with me in my repentance. I will never forget that day. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has been so gracious to us since that day. He has made a way for us to visit the Holy City for every pilgrimage feast since then. My brothers and my sisters, I implore you never speak against her for peace will leave you and your life will not prosper; seek her good all your days!!