My husband’s face turned pasty white and he began to sweat profusely. His trembling hands gripped the corners of the linen-clothed table in the center of the elegant, gourmet restaurant. “Jim, what’s happening?” I quickly asked. He didn’t answer. “Jim, are you okay?” I tried again. He took several gulps of water and answered hoarsely, “I don’t feel right. Something’s wrong. I’m dizzy.” Now, here’s where men and women differ. When a woman feels dizzy she says, “I feel dizzy. I think I need to lie down for a minute.” When a man feels dizzy he says, “I feel dizzy. I think I need to get up and walk around….anybody have a dangerous, high-powered electric tool or some heavy machinery I can operate?” 

Ignoring my warning, Jim pushed his chair back from the table, stood on shaky legs, paused for balance, and then staggered all of ten feet before passing out. On the way down, the impact of his face hitting the corner of a heavy wooden chair caused his chin to split open and his top teeth to embed into his bottom lip. Blood was everywhere. Pandemonium broke out all over the restaurant. Women gasped. Men bolted from their chairs. The waitress nearby yelled for help as she rolled Jim over to see if he was breathing. In slow motion, I ran through quick sand on legs that seemed to have fifty pound concrete blocks strapped to them. Oh, Lord! What’s happening?  

Within two minutes, Jim was surrounded by two managers, a medic, and me. Being a man who doesn’t like attention drawn to himself, he attempted to make light of the situation. With his head in the waitress’s lap, blood everywhere, and a manager saying, “Mr. Plowman, we are calling an ambulance so we need for you to lie still until the paramedics arrive,” Jim argued that he was “fine.” “I just need to go to the hotel room and lie down for a minute,” he slurred through a mouth overflowing with blood and a gaping hole in his chin that revealed stuff not meant to be seen. “Calling an ambulance is ridiculous!” he continued. “Babe, you go ahead and finish your soup. I’ll just go to the room and splash some water on my face and I’ll be right back.” As if. The man was in dangerous denial. Of course, when he tried to get up, he fell back down.

Curious and horrified onlookers tried unsuccessfully not to stare as they walked by. While Jim’s body was temporarily out of order, his wit was fully intact with comments such as, “You should have seen the other guy” and “Does this mean we get free dessert?” Only Jim Plowman could pull off charm with a mangled face.

It wasn’t until Jim saw his face in a mirror that he agreed to a trip to the emergency room, which eight hours later resulted in eleven stitches and the diagnoses of a dislocated jaw. His passing out was caused from dehydration; the consequence of too much time in the steam room and sauna and not enough water at the beautiful Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, North Carolina. By the way, don’t you hate it when writers name-drop in hopes of getting something free, such as a complementary night at a five-star resort? Yeah—me, too. The nerve of some people. Anyway, while our early anniversary trip to the fabulous Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, North Carolina didn’t end as romantically as I’d hoped, it did get me to thinking about some things.   

How many times have I not wanted to admit something was “wrong” in my life? How often do I try to convince others and myself that I’m “fine” when I know, deep down, that something is not right? How many times have I failed to heed the warnings of the Holy Spirit or the wise counsel of God’s Word, only to suffer painful consequences as a result? I, too, have found myself in dangerous denial on more than one occasion.