John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Broken and Exhausted, The Warrior Limps Home

Don't worry -- I'm not broken. But my tooth is. I feel like I've been beaten up. Allow me to explain: I have petellar tracking disorder -- an imbalance in the knee area that causes the kneecap to shift or tilt out of place. What really gets me is that it never happens when I'm playing full-court basketball or something really physical. It happens getting off the sofa, or -- as in the most recent case -- rolling over in bed at 5:00 in the morning.

Every four or five months, my kneecap falls off its track and refuses to allow my leg to straighten out or bear much weight. It's ridiculously painful and necessitates an equally painful trip to my friend Lee Strickland -- chiropractor extraordinairre. Lee performs electro-stimulation to the muscles around the knee to try and reduce the amount of swelling. Then he "adjusts" the knee -- a euphemism for doing something that feels about like someone taking a hammer and whacking my knee repeatedly for about three minutes.

I have to admit: it works.

Unfortunately, this happened just before I was scheduled to go out of town (again). So, I limped my way through airports in Atlanta and Philadelphia. I arrived and was taken to my hotel in Morgantown, PA. I met up with my friend Bill Winegardner, and we watched the second half of the USC-Notre Dame game -- what a fantastic finish! Then we went downstairs and asked the lady at the front desk of the Holiday Inn where we should go to dinner.

She sent us to a place in Reading called The Ugly Oyster. Those of you who know me, you know I love to go to places like that. And it was good. If you ever find yourself in Reading, you'll find it on 5th Street. Order a Crab Cake Sandwich. It's really good.

Our waitress was just doing her job -- trying to upsell us on dessert. But nothing they had sounded that great to us. So, she brought us each a Tootsie Pop. Walking to the car, I bit down and my gold cap in the back of my mouth came out. I have it in my shaving kit. It still has purple candy remnants on it.

It doesn't hurt really. I was afraid it might affect my speech, but people tell me I'm not lisping or anything. It's more a source of anxiety than anything else.

Oh, and I spoke in "big church" yesterday. And then I did a 5-Hour Workshop. For those of you who speak for a living, you know how long yesterday was for me. We got lost on our way to the airport, but I arrived in time to catch my flight home. My knee is feeling better. I slept some on the plane. As I said, my tooth doesn't really hurt. The folks in Pennsylvania were really great, and the weather was beautiful. Tonight, I'll be in the studio with Reggie Joiner and Sue Miller discussing the virtue of Generosity.

All in all, things are pretty good. I'll get back to the whole Dan Brown, Da Vinci Code, Paul's take on physical resurrection thing tomorrow. Or maybe I won't. I'm teaching this Wednesday night on Elijah, and I have several thoughts about him bouncing around in my head that I'd like to get your take on. Maybe I'll do both. Or maybe I'll do neither. Who knows?

For now, I'm interested in hearing from you. How are you?