I had a great time in Hamilton spending time with my church community this weekend! Most of Saturday was spent at a going away party for me and two other friends from the church, and it felt like a fun-filled family reunion of sorts. The youth that I worked with all year were there and playing football in the afternoon (more on that later), while the adults were BBQ'in and conversing over a variety of cold beverages. Rather than go into a whole speech about how great it was to see Christians enjoying each other's company with a glass of wine or a beer in hand, and it not being taboo, I'll say that glimpses of the kingdom of God, in it's glorious fellowship and relationship, were present that day. Then, of course, the evening ended with another glorious event - the Red Wings win 5-0! - but I won't pour too much salt into that wound for Pens fans.
Sunday started by being chauffered to church (there's a reason for this), enjoying a really nice final service with my church family, followed by an afternoon of bocce ball, and a final small group meeting for the young adults in the evening. All in all it was a fantastic way to end my time at St. John's, and I can't say enough how grateful I am for the people I've met, the hospitality I've felt, and the kingdom experiences I've had there. Transitioning from this community will be extremely difficult, but I feel sent in a very supportive way by them.
Okay, now back to that football game. It was an epic game, the reprecussions of which are still being experienced today. Myself, Jeff (the other male youth leader), and the youth girls decided to take on the youth guys in a game of touch football. The guys came out to an early lead, but I was determined not to let that last too long. On one glorious play, I tracked the eyes of their young quarterback and prepared myself to pick off his faux-Hail-Mary pass. The pass was launched. My eyes never left the ball. I beelined it to the side of the endzone, threw my two hands up in the air, and picked off the football before anyone else had the chance. Immediately I experienced the consequences of running without being aware of the ground around, and collided with a large wooden lawn chair (that had acted as a marker of the endzone). Impact number one took my feet out and propelled me forward. Impact number two was when my face collided with large wooden lawn chair number two. At this point the ball fell helplessly from my hands, and many gasps were heard from the field and from the spectators.
"Wow, that really smarts," I thought as I picked myself up. People came looking to see blood and tears, but I wiped myself off and said I was fine, and returned to play. Then Jeff told me I was bleeding from my mouth, so I decided to rinse my mouth out and then return to the game. While inside the house, I noticed a rather large hole inside my lip where my upper canine tooth very obviously punctured. There was a new, loose, inner lip flap that was sore and bleeding a bit, but it didn't bother me. I returned to play, only to find I had been replaced by a father of one of the youth, so I gladly sat out and allowed my sore body to recover, and for my open wound in my mouth to be 'sterilized' with some red wine (always a good choice).
About 30 minutes later, while chatting with Jeff again over some food, he noticed that there was blood underneath my moustache. It is at this point that we discover that not only did my canine tooth take a chunk of my inner lip out, but it in fact went right through my lip upon impact. Yes, my tooth went right through my lip. The exit wound was luckily small, so it scabbed over and no stitches were needed.
About 15 minutes after that, I mentioned that my feet were starting to get sore. I looked down and saw that my right foot was cut up, and my left foot had ballooned into a purple, swelled-up mass. I had honestly not noticed until that point, and immediately felt the mobility of my left foot rapidly decreasing. Much was made of the injury by all around, with various suggestions on how to treat it. I ended up icing the foot for two hours, and then eventually had it taped up. I would say that the flexibility and mobility of the foot was down to 10% without pain.
About 10 minutes after first noticing the foot, we all realized that I also had cut my forehead in the collision, and so now there is also a minor scab on my forehead near the hairline.
But back to the lip. I became freakshow entertainment for all the youth, as they asked to come see the gaping hole inside my mouth. Many pictures were taken, and many disgusted faces were made.
Again to the foot. I ended up being chauffered to my friends home that evening, and after sleeping that night, woke up with my foot feeling much much better. I would say that flexibility and mobility was back up to 40-50% without pain. After church I was even able to spend the afternoon playing bocce ball, followed by walking around downtown Hamilton, followed by helping my new housemate Fil move his old BBQ down two incredibly long and steep flights of stairs to bring back to Toronto that night. Flexibility went up to about 60% by the end of the night. So I took the tape job off and went to bed.
Right now, I am writing from my bed, with a newly tensored foot after waking up in pain. I think I overexerted myself yesterday and am now paying the consequences. Oh well. It makes for a good story, and tangible proof of the way I've been marked by this Hamilton community I've come to care for so much.