By: Richard Gazowsky
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A few weeks ago the Lord told me to write a book about my recent hospital experience. As I started on the first chapter I realized that the main core element of the book was me discovering the treasure that I had in my own family. The larger subject of the book is about my first experience of staying in a hospital, and what interaction happened between America’s healthcare system and me. The book is called “Kaiser Castle”. After three rewrites of just the first chapter, the Lord began dealing with me about how I was introducing my wife as a character in the book.
After much prayer, God showed me what I really didn’t know about Sandy. I was amazed as He began to reveal to me layers of blindness that I had formed concerning her personality. It was almost as if she was communicating to me on, say, Channel 7 on the radio, and I was communicating to her on Channel 5. Because I hadn’t switched to the same channel she was thinking on, we had problems of miscommunication. All of this thought process was going through my mind in prayer as I tried to write the paragraph that would introduce Sandy to my readers.
First, I need you to understand the context that I’m writing the book in. The actual events happened just a month ago in the City of San Francisco. I’m writing the book in the descriptive context of medieval England, with the old British class system laid over the modern healthcare class system that exists in hospitals today. I present Sandy as royalty, as she interacts with those of the same class in the San Francisco healthcare system. This is the descriptive paragraph the Lord eventually gave me.
Richard fell in love with Miss Lovable at the tender age of eighteen, though he had several choices of young ladies to pursue. It was Miss Lovable who captured him with her warm and understanding heart. She was the one who was willing to listen to a young man’s ramblings concerning his future dreams and pursuits. They met while attending the Cathedral of Praise, called the Voice of Pentecost. Two years later, on a double date at a small laborers’ pub named Pam Pam’s, in the notorious tenderloin district of San Francisco, Richard became hopelessly smitten with love.
Never before had he met a person like Miss Lovable, who was able to listen with such sincere candor. For the first time if his life he opened his heart, revealing its entire contents to Miss Lovable. With her attentive concentration her eyes sparkled, her cheeks became rosy, and her intoxicating smile pulled him in. She was like a teddy bear as she listened to him share private things between just the two of them. Miss Lovable was like a little girl who’d just been given a free pass to Disneyland. She was full of wonder, like a balloon ready for a flight of adventure into the happy ever after.
The revelation that had hit me was this: the Channel 5 that I’d been communicating with Sandy on in our marriage was one that broadcasted a WWF (World Boxing Federation) event, so my communication style was always confrontational. But Sandy was listening on Channel 7, the lovable teddy bear channel. That meant that transmission between the two channels was hard for both of us. Then, just a week ago, my eyes were unexpectedly opened and I suddenly decided to switch channels. It’s incredible, because I discovered how much I love my wife and how easy it now is to communicate with her on her teddy bear channel. (I’m not yet an expert at it, but I’m definitely learning how to operate on the correct frequency.)
The most fascinating part of this story is that I’ve discovered similar revelations regarding my two daughters and son. It’s quite wonderful because the more I discover about those who are closest to me, the more God clears up the communications between us. I don’t know how far this revelation will go, but I’m beginning to realize that God’s purpose in my life is to clear up these channels so God’s love can flow unobstructed between us. What is going on in my life, and with the relationships I have, is a direct reflection of what has been going on with my physical body. I believe that’s the reason I had to spend so much time in the hospital.
My daughter, Rocki, was with me on the day the doctors photographed my heart and discovered that the problems in my body were caused by high blood pressure. And though the symptoms my body was experiencing at first seemed to point to something different, the real problem was my heart. That first night in the hospital, as I was about to go to sleep, Rocki was sitting in the chair beside my bed. She opened up the Bible to Psalms 95:10 and read this Scripture: “Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, ‘It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’”
Whoa! As that word from God hung there in the air of the hospital room, it felt like the two of us were suddenly transported before the Supreme Court in heaven. There may be lots of other things that appear to be the reasons for the problems in our lives, but when it’s all said and done, it all comes down to the errors in our hearts. I felt like God was saying, “Fix your heart and everything will come together.” Wow! The word hit me like a nuclear explosion that occurs at the moment of critical mass!
Suddenly it was time for me to change everything in my life, from the way I eat to the way I treat my wife. My communication with her was going to change completely because God was going to change my heart. Most of my life I’ve zealously protected the parts of me that would cause this intimate of a change. I thought that to do so would take my fight and vigor away and cause me to have a milk-toast style of personality. I wouldn’t be able to have that cutting-edge style of leadership of always being willing to take chances.
But now that I’m a few weeks into it, I’m discovering that it’s just not true. I haven’t lost my hunger for the cutting edge, for the sweet taste of a win, or to experience things that are exotic. As my heart is being healed I’ve simply recognized that God didn’t put me in this race to run alone. He has put my family, friends, associates and business partners in the race with me, so that collectively we can form a unique kind of fellowship. The Greeks called it “Koinonia”, which is what occurs when the Holy Spirit binds people together.
It’s my prayer that each person that is reading this blog can find the same treasure in the relationships around them.
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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called The Voice of Pentecost, and is also president of Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”