Saturday, December 15, 2007

My friend Tim, the human search engine.

At the age of 46 and in perfect health, no one, least of all Tim, expected that he would have a stroke. But he did. A week ago. His neighbors found Tim out on his front lawn on their way to work. He'd crawled there because he couldn't figure out how to dial the operator on his phone. His brain couldn't make the connections necessary to complete that task.

It's been a week now, and every day Tim is making progress. He's learning to walk again. And getting a realistic feel for the physical challenges that lay ahead.

He's optimistic, and sees this as just the next avenue down which God has chosen to take him. I'm grateful to be part of Tim's life, to be learning from how he's responding to this. It's also been absolutely fascinating to observe how Tim processes his re-learning. He is highly verbal, so as he struggles with reconnecting pathways, he will comment as he goes, as he finds a dead end and has to backtrack, or finds an alternate route that serves his intended purpose. It's like watching a search query go out through the web, bouncing around, ricocheting here and there, and then seeing all the fragments, the collected bits, come back to reveal an answer, a direction.

The human brain is remarkable. But as Tim has shown me this week, it's the human spirit that is truly miraculous.

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