I had to have a cyst drained last week. My doctor believes it was a sebaceous cyst, which is usually not something to cause major health issues, but is still something that needs to be addressed. In this case, though, I had to rely on the eyes of others to let me know just how bad it had gotten.

The cyst was (is?) located right at the bottom of my back, practically on my waist, just above my, um, posterior. I could sort of twist myself around and look over my shoulder enough to get a glimpse of it in the mirror, but I couldn’t really get a good view of it. I knew it was growing and that it was starting to hurt, but I didn’t have a true sense of how large it had become.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is where the humiliation begins.

For starters, I had to lie in the prone position on a doctor’s table with my pants pulled down slightly while my physician sliced into proneliethis thing. To makes matters even more embarrassing, the cyst was apparently pretty full, which caused whatever was in it to spurt out everywhere once it was cut (Actually, I’m kind of glad I couldn’t see that part.). Once it was sufficiently drained, the doctor bandaged me up, but told me the bandage would have to be changed once a day while the spot healed. Since I am not a contortionist, that meant the lovely job of fixing me up every day would fall to my beloved wife.

I need to stop here and say that my wife is an amazing person. She is the practical half of our marriage, running our household while I do things like, well, write this blog. More than that, though, she has forgiven me more times than any man has ever deserved. I have wounded her as deeply as a husband can wound a wife, and she has stuck by me through it all. It hasn’t always been pleasant, but her showing of grace to me has been nothing short of miraculous.

So on the day after a doctor sliced a tiny hole in my back to drain a nasty cyst, I found myself lying once again in the prone position on our bed at home as I waited for my wife to enter the room with a fresh bandage and Band-Aid for the day. Of course, this being the day after the cut was made, the gauze pad from the day before was a little messy, so she took that off and disposed of it. I was embarrassed that she had to do it, but there wasn’t much I could do to help. Then she took the new gauze pad, placed it over the hole that was made the day before, and placed a Band-Aid over the pad.

And that’s when my eyes started to water a bit.

There is something about being in a helpless position that breaks a person down emotionally. You don’t have any pride in that moment, and if you do, you can be sure it’s going to be broken pretty quickly. You suddenly realize you are totally at the mercy of the person helping you, and if that someone is your spouse, you also realize all the little things they do to help you every day. You think about all the little things you didn’t do for them, and you regret the fact that once again they’re having to bail you out when you didn’t necessarily do the same for them.

Or that’s what I was thinking, at least.

Of course, this theme could be expanded out to God and spiritual surrender and things of that nature, but I wanted to tell this story for all the married couples who might be reading it. I took my spouse for granted, and I had to wind up on my stomach – literally and figuratively – to realize it. I’m still not perfect. I’m still probably going to flub up from time to time. Speaking as someone who doesn’t cry all that often, though, I shed some real tears that day, which is something I haven’t done in quite a while. I had genuine regret for the things I had done.

Whether you’re a husband or a wife, I hope you don’t have to end up lying on your stomach with a hole in your back to realize what I’m saying here. I think my wife appreciated my tears that day, although she could have just been enjoying ripping the Band-Aids off my back. Whatever the case, the prone position turned out to be the one I needed to be in.

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