Deacon Bill Ditewig had his spinal surgery yesterday, the 14th, and today his wife, Diann, sent me this text:

He is doing really well. They had him up doing some physical therapy today. He said it wasn’t pleasant, but got through it.They are watching his pain very closely. So for a first day post op not bad.

They fused T-5,6,7,8 used pins and rods to rebuild the damaged discs , removed and flushed and irrigated the abscess as much as they could. They left antibiotic “beads” inside that are slow release! Plus pumping him with pain and antibiotics meds. So one day at a time.

… All those prayers really made a difference. He sounds remarkably more like himself!

So there you go!

I called him Tuesday night and he sounded very chipper.  He was delighted to have some ice cream with his dinner, and regaled me with stories of his adventures in physical therapy — wearing a brace that he said feels like an old metal garbage can.

And he couldn’t express enough gratitude for the worldwide circle of prayer that has accompanied him the last few days.

“Bill,” I said, “would you like to make a statement for your fans?”

He’s been profoundly touched by so much generosity and good will, and he replied:

I can’t come up with words that are adequate to thank people. It’s just phenomenal. I love you all.

We love you, too.

I’ll post more when I know more.

Meanwhile, I found some words of wisdom for this moment, from  Pope Francis: 

Above all, let us not forget to thank: if we are bearers of gratitude, the world itself will become better, even if only a little bit, but that is enough to transmit a bit of hope. The world needs hope. And with gratitude, with this attitude of thanksgiving, we transmit a bit of hope. Everything is united and everything is connected, and each one can do their part wherever they are. The path to happiness is the one that Saint Paul described at the end of one of his letters: “Pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit” (1Thess 5:17-19). Do not quench the Spirit, what a beautiful project of life! Not quenching the Spirit that we have within leads us to gratitude.

Thank you, God, thank you.

Get well, Bill!