This Little Piggy

By Stan Key

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14).

It may sound incredibly trite but I am going to say it anyway: the human body is truly amazing. To write such words is to state the obvious; a waste of time for both writer and reader, right? I suppose I could say the same thing about a sunrise, a snowflake, a dandelion, or the Milky Way.  There is a lot of “amazing” stuff out there. But watching Katy’s body respond to the terrible stroke she suffered one month ago has given me a whole new respect for the miracle our bodies truly are.  When they are working well, we take them for granted and easily get bored by thinking about the routine functions they perform.  But when disease or traumatic injury strikes so that the body no longer functions as it normally does, we have the privilege of pausing to meditate on the amazing gift God has given to each one of us. Consider:

Swallowing.  We do it hundreds of times a day and never stop to consider what a complex function this is involving saliva, chewing, tongue, gag reflex, determining which pipe the food goes down, and the amazingly complex wave-like muscle contractions that move food down the esophagus toward the stomach (peristalsis).  When just one of those elements is not working correctly, you simply can’t swallow. When Katy regained the ability to sip a milk shake, we danced for joy!

Wiggling your toes.  Last week the physical therapist said to Katy, “OK, now look at the toes on your left foot and tell them to move.”  Katy dutifully obeyed, staring hard at her limp foot.  “I am, I am!” she said with tears in her eyes. But nothing moved.  Again I had the privilege of pondering the miracle of engineering that our bodies are and to think of the hundreds and thousands of signals and impulses traveling over miles of nerves and muscles to enable our bodies to perform the myriad of functions they do every day. I’ll never play “This Little Piggy Goes to Market” with my grandchildren the same way again!

Electrolytes.  Before Katy’s crisis I didn’t even know we had them!  And yet without them our bodies are unable to send the electrical impulses that make life possible. When Katy’s electrolytes were out of balance, nothing worked quite the way it was supposed to. Indeed, her life was in danger.

Peripheral vision. Katy’s right brain injury makes looking left very hard to do. The doctors call it “left side neglect”. She simply does not see things that are toward the left side of her field of vision unless she is told to consciously make the effort to do so. Katy’s humor showed itself again when she grinned lopsidedly at her physical therapist and said snidely, “I’ve never wanted to look to the Left anyway!”  

Balance and equilibrium.  Stroke patients find it hard to sit up straight and often can be seen leaning to one side or the other. Think about this.  What keeps any of us vertical or able to maintain our balance?  Why don’t we all tilt right and feel the nausea and dizziness that Katy does?

You get the idea.  Things that our bodies do routinely we often take for granted and fail to recognize the miracle of grace that they represent.  The irreducible complexity of our amazing bodies should cause all of us to daily fall on our faces and worship the One who created us! Meditating on Katy’s physical challenges, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about those atheists and evolutionists who pretend that these bodies are simply the result of random processes over long periods of time.  Really?  It takes a lot of faith to be an atheist!

Prayer:  Father God, today as I wiggle my toes, swallow my food, and stand erect, help me to worship you in humble gratitude for the wonders you have so lavishly bestowed.  For those today who are struggling with disease and physical maladies, we pray that you would send your grace to heal them and restore them to health. Specifically, we ask you to touch Katy, as you touched the sick when you walked among us.  Raise her up and let her body perform once again as you so beautifully designed it to do! In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.


P.S. We have not yet heard final word on insurance and discharge dates. We will know tomorrow and will try keep you posted as it all unfolds. Please keep praying with us for an extension at Cardinal Hill! None of us, including Katy, feel ready for a move to another facility tomorrow. But we trust the Lord for His perfect timing.



28 thoughts on “This Little Piggy

  1. Thank you, Stan, for the reflection of God’s perfect design when He made us. Also, thank you for the update on Katy and beautiful prayer for her and all of us. Will continue to pray for God’s Will in her placement (hopefully to remain where she’s at for the time being).


  2. Amen, Stan. Taking this journey with you all, through what you and your daughters write, has caused us to humbly thank God for the Grace He makes available to us as He “daily loads us with benefits”. More importantly, I think, the Lord has also increased our awareness of our utter dependence on Him, in sickness and in health, because of the uncertainties of this life, and the reality of the body of Christ, that as one suffers, we all suffer. Joe and I are praying for Katy, and for your family daily.


  3. As always, beautifully written, Stan. We will keep on praying, even right now, again, about the insurance and the stay at Cardinal Hill. With love, Cynthia and Tom


  4. Thank you, Stan for sharing Your reflections on the human body and how difficult it has been for Katy just to swallow. Praying with you today and asking God to guide the next step.


  5. Stan thank you for your beautiful words and the the reminder that indeed our bodies a wonderfully made! I was reading Luke 18:1-8 today of the persistent woman who went to the judge seeking justice. It reminds me of all of us who are going to the Judge daily on behalf of Katy, and all of you. We trust He hears our prayers and He is answering. Praise God our magnificent Creator.


  6. Ps 139 has been my favorite since coming to Jesus because of my upbringing. It finally showed me God’s love for me, that He made me unique. He has made Katy unique and she belongs to Him, and He has a purpose and plan, even though hard to receive. Today I pray El Shaddai, God Almighty and Jehovah Jireh, God provides, over Katy. He is mighty to save!


  7. Thank you for the beautiful writing and prayer. We are praying for whatever takes place today that it will be smooth and just what God is ordering for you all. if it is a move, we pray for strength and perfect timing. If not a move, then we pray for a good day in therapy and for improvement even in a little toe. He is able! Be encouraged that He is with you every moment of this day. Gail and Judy


  8. Thank you Stan and girls for continuing to align my perspective. You challenge me with every posting. I join you in believing Gos plan is for good not to harm us but to give us goodness a future and a hope.


  9. Thanks Stan for your update! I am continuing to pray daily for Katy, yourself, and your family that God will continue to heal Katy completely. Will be praying for the extension at Cardinal Hill to be approved. We have a great God that gives abundantly! Bill


  10. Stan, Katy, and family: We continue to pray for you at this difficult time of change, anxiety, and transition. May God hold you close, embrace you in His arms, and grand peace and direction. Bill and Liz Higgs.


  11. Amen. Continuing my daily prayers for Katy to be healed and, in addition to the specific requests, for the Lord to sustain and encourage you all. Jeremiah 17:14: “Hear me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are the one I praise.” Praising God and sending love to you all,
    Eileen H.


  12. Stan…As we get older, we find ourselves so controlled by the world’s standards and by this thing called “insurance”! Dick and I have to remind ourselves… as we fall victim to the system…that our God is greater than anything this world has to offer! We are keeping that in our thoughts and prayers for Katy today…you do that too! He never lets us down…He just doesn’t always respond to our time schedule. We spent a lot of time with our devotions and prayers today as our list for others is growing and growing. We always have to remember that He is already aware of the things of which we remind Him! One of our devotionals said that we need to keep aware of the fact that He is our “living” God and that He is the same as He was thousands and thousands of years ago. He knows, dear Stan….jean

    On Sun, Jan 17, 2016 at 11:33 PM, Journey with Katy wrote:

    > lizlind posted: “By Stan Key I praise you, for I am fearfully and > wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14). It may sound incredibly trite but I am > going to say it anyway: the human body is truly amazing. To write such > words is to state the obvious; a waste of time for both writ” >


  13. after an accident years ago, I could not move my foot or toes. i worked so hard with PT. I will never forget the night I called my family over to look at my foot as barely imperceptibly my big toe moves. I didn’t walk without assistance for a year and had almost lost my leg. I tell you the to offer encouragement- I think Katy will get a lot back but it is slow. May you hear God as He keeps cheering you on and brings together all the healing of the synapses that need to take place. Gloria Halverson


  14. We continue to pray for Katy and you and family, thank you for keeping us updated with her progress, no matter how small it may seem, it still counts. I pray for peace for you both during this time, God is in control of the insurance, healing, everything. We love you both and will continue to lift you up in prayer.


  15. So true, Pastor Stan. Our bodies are miraculous creations, no other explanation for their complexity. I had surgery last week and having seen some of my insides, just in awe of how God intricately designed us. Thankful He gave our bodies the ability to self heal and praying Katy’s total healing is close at hand. Praying with you all that Katy will be freed from nausea and pain. It is a wonder her sense of humor remains so in tact! Please give her hand a gentle squeeze from me and tell her I love her dearly and all of us at LCC are praying fervently. May God be merciful and allow insurance to cover Katy’s rehabilitation at Cardinal Hill for as long as she needs. You are all dear to us, Key family.


  16. And then consider your foot. Best suspension bridge ever designed. Contains isn’t it 26 bones? And this all just evolved from somewhere? As you and Mr. Van Valin recently observed, I don’t think I have faith enough to be an atheist. Continued prayers.


  17. Amen, Beloved Keys! Tom and I continue to hold Katy before the Lord. We know all works together for good, but at times, this path is so wearisome. Lord, touch our sister with your infinite love and strength. Keep us faithful in prayer. Key family, thank you for being willing to share your “By the willows” experience with us. It has added depth to all of our hearts. One of Katy’s sayings that has been forever branded on my heart is, “We can only know joy to the degree that we have known pain (rough translation). What a promise for the joy that lies before her.


  18. Please give Katie my love. So glad we had some moments together at Hollow Rock. Jerry and I continue to pray for you all – that God’s great wisdom and strength will be yours in ways you never could even imagine.


  19. Please give Katy a hug from Jerry and I and tell her that we are praying for wisdom, strength, and healing for all of you. So glad we had some moments together at Hollow Rock. You are all special to us.


    1. This is a reminder to all of us of our many blessings and not to take things for granted. We ARE “fearfully and wonderfully made,” for sure. We continue to pray for Katy and for you all. ❤️❤️


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