Sunday, June 12, 2005


through all of this, there are experiences that still remain. things that i can either accept and understand as i understood them then, that i can review and try to explain away, or that i can somehow revision and find in them a new meaning.

in the spring of my junior year of high school, i hurt my back. really hurt my back.

i'm not sure how it happened. my only guess was that i did it lifting weights after school. at first it was just some minor pain that just wouldn't go away. nothing to cry over. it was more of an annoyance. sitting or standing too long were a burden. the brief motion between the two came with clenched eyes and a quick grimace of discomfort. i lived with it for a month and didn't think much of it.

in that time, my grandmother died. my mom's mom. i had only met her in her tokyo home three times and had never been able to breach the cultural and linguistic divide that seperated us. she was no more to me than a stranger and i thought little of it. she obviously meant much more to my mother who was preparing to fly to japan for a week with my dad for her funeral. before they left, my parents wanted me to see a doctor about my back. the doctor assured them that it was only a strained muscle, that x-rays were not needed, and that they had nothing to worry about while they were away. with my older brother chris away at byu, my parents left me in charge of my younger brother bobby and flew off to japan.

thats when things got much worse.

a day or so later after they left, on a thursday night, i was at a youth activity playing some sort of crab-soccer game or something. afterwards, my back began to hurt much worse. friday was a little more painful. saturday, it hurt to get around. on sunday, i could barely walk. i remember being at church that day and just hating every step i took. with each step or motion, a shot of pain fired out my lower back and spread to every point of my body. my friends' mothers all came to me seeing if i was ok. i assured them that i was fine and that they had nothing to worry about. inside, i worried. i had no idea what was going on and was scared of how to deal with it. i cut home early that day, laid in my bed, and tried to ignore the pain.

as the day dragged on, the level of pain seemed to increase exponentially. every bit of movement cause an increasing burst of pain. i sent bobby to his friend's house next door because i didn't want him to see me in pain and get scared. one of us scared was enough. i laid there hoping things would get better, but it didn't seem it would.

at around 7:30 that night, my body decided it couldn't handle it and i went into shock. suddenly i felt really cold and my body began to violently shiver. the shaking made things absolutely unbearable. it hurt so bad. i was so scared and didn't know what to do. i remember starting to cry. i just wanted it to end. all i could think to do was pray. i distinctly remember the words i said out loud...

oh jesus. help me. i don't know what to do. please help.

in the middle of those words, a sudden peace came over me. my body relaxed and stopped shaking. the pain was still there, but it didn't affect me. i felt safe. within minutes i fell asleep.


the next morning, i called chris and he came up from byu to drive me to the doctor. x-rays revealed that i had fractured my fourth or fifth lumbar. the doctors told me that i must be in a lot of pain. i assured them that i was.

for several months i walked like an old man. hand behind my back, walking slowly, and complaining with ever step. it wasn't until mid-july that the doctors gave me permission to run with the football team again. it was an experience i wish i never had, but at the same time one that i cherish and hold close to me.


while writing this, i found my face wet with tears. i'm not sure what it all means. maybe there is a simple explanation to it all. maybe there isn't. maybe it's simple because it's something any child could explain to me. something so simple, i have a hard time grasping it. i don't know.


  1. Dostoevskly wrote about a hypothetical situation where Jesus was put on trial for all of the evil in the world. The inquisitor rebuked Christ for all the pain and suffering we experience. The entire time Christ listened intently but was silent.

    After the inquisitor was done speaking, he eagerly awaited Christ's answer. Christ said nothing, but he approached the inquisitor and simply embraced him. That was his answer.

    In the end, the problem of evil and God's existence can't be understood rationally; the one sufficient response is God's compassionate acceptance and pure love.

    Thanks for the post, Tyler.

  2. your comments are making me want to read dostoevsky. perhaps i'll have to add him to my list

  3. The Grand Inquisitor is a section of The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. You can read the story of the Grand Inquisitor here:

    And here's a link to a guy who wrote a paper about the Grand Inquisitor's arguments as reflected in songs by Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson:


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