Pastor Rick Warren hospitalized after eyes burned
July 22nd, 2010
12:34 PM ET

Pastor Rick Warren hospitalized after eyes burned

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren is home recovering after his eyes were burned as he pruned a firestick plant in his yard, his spokesman told CNN Thursday.

Warren was hospitalized Monday after the incident and released Tuesday, said his spokesman, A. Larry Ross. Warren is expected to make a full recovery, Ross said.

"My eyes were severely burned by a toxic poison," Warren wrote in a Twitter message Thursday morning. "Hospitalized Mon. Excruciating pain. Now home. Pray my sight loss is restored."

Though the pain was initially so intense that Warren could not open his eyes on Monday, he was seeing well enough Thursday to send the Tweet himself, Ross said. "The pain was excruciating - 12 on a scale of 1 through 10," Ross said. "It's now down to an 8."

Warren was pruning shrubs in the yard of his Southern California home when he wiped his eyes after picking up leaves from a firestick plant, Ross said.

The sap of the firestick is toxic and can cause skin irritation and temporary blindness if it comes in contact with the skin or eyes, according to the website gardenguides.com. The firestick is a succulent with spiky orange branches.

Warren is currently on leave from his church, called Saddleback, to write a book, so the injury is not expected to affect his public schedule, Ross said.

"A doctor put protective contacts on my corneas as bandages during the healing," Warren said in another Tweet on Thursday. "I am NOT blind."

The firestick is found around the world, Ross said, and grows well in Southern California.

"Pastor Rick, an avid gardener, purchased it locally himself," Ross said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Leaders

soundoff (682 Responses)
  1. Mark

    For the believers:
    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

    For those who don't know Him:
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    For those who rejoice in Rick Warren's suffering:
    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
    "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

    July 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  2. Shannon

    I had no idea there was so many hate filled weirdos in the world. Feeling compassion for such people is very difficult but I really want to. I am so ready for the Rapture.

    July 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  3. margaret

    Some of you guys think what you write about the Lord is funny, but really it's quite stupid and imature. If you understood how much the Lord loves you, you would hang your head in shame for writing such stupidity.

    July 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  4. HeIsGod


    I don't need God...God needs me...or my money I should say.

    With all do respect, WHAT AN IDIOT!!! Silver and Gold belongs to God! He doesn't need your money, you need His money! He owns you and your money!

    July 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Lee

      What an absurd comment! Silver and Gold belong to god??? Does he actually come to the earth he created and mine for it, as the rest of us do? Or does he have some other way of gathering? Gold and Silver aare natural elements of this planet...you MORON! I've never needed money or anything else from god.. I'm better off asking Santa Clause!

      July 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  5. abl123

    There was a time when I was very attracted to Christianity, even though I am proud to say that I am a Liberal/Progressive through and through, and I would never agree with the backward social tenets (too many to list) of the Christian religion. I was raised in a Methodist home, and as an adult I was drawn back in during a difficult time when I was "searching" for meaning and hope. I started regularly watching shows on Christian networks, alongside my usual msnbc and cnn (NEVER Fox) and listening to Christian radio programs, and I considered myself "saved." But when I realized that the rhetoric quickly turns it into a cult of brainwashing bigotry, I lost interest. My sister and several of my cousins are "Christians," and they are the most judgmental and stand-offish people you have ever seen. Christianity as I know it is about LOVE, UNDERSTANDING, TOLERANCE, and FORGIVENESS. That's it. If you are a Christian, but you blindly condemn others, you are not representing Christ. That's my belief. (I also believe that all of the major religions unwittingly worship the same God, but that's for another blog.) Have a good one! 🙂

    July 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  6. Mark C

    This guy would look like slightly less of a tool if he shaved off his chin co0ter. Just saying.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  7. Whodat

    Don't worry Marie, claim your hill & pull out your M-16, this is war!!!...(smile)

    July 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  8. Mark C

    This guy would look like slightly less of a tool if he shaved off his chin c00ter. Just sayin'.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • abl123


      July 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  9. Scott

    "I warn you that all knowledge seemingly innocent and pure is a deadly weapon in the hands of avarice and greed." – Trey Anastasio

    July 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  10. gregory

    God works in mysterious ways, burning the eyes of his sheep.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  11. Fiona

    A "toxic poison"? Give me strength.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  12. Ronald D Smith

    "...Pray my sight loss is restored."? At least 2 possible interpretations: (1) Rick is being punished for something he did/said/thought; (2) Why not pray for prevention...can't Rick's god practice preventive medicine based on his/her "all-knowing" capabilities?

    July 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Cindy

    God heal this man and his family

    July 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • gregory

      But god makes bad things happen for a reason...so should we really be praying for god to undo is own actions? Shouldn't we just let god do what he wants, instead of praying against his wishes?

      July 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  14. Whodat

    All u haters, take away your food and water whadcha got?

    July 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  15. Benjamin

    Ha ha! Where's his God now? Maybe he's being punished for opposing gay rights and selling new age nonsense to know-no-betters. This has the makings of an Oedipus! Now blind, he can finally see...

    July 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  16. Florence

    If there is truly a God, then he should blind all these so called religious leaders.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • gregory

      They are already blind.

      July 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  17. Whodat

    We're all like lost sheep looking for a shepherd.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • Florence

      Speak for yourself. We are not "sheep" we are human.

      July 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  18. Brian

    He's just been RICKrolled – LOL!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  19. Brian

    He's just been RICKrolled – LOL!!!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  20. bridgmjm

    I learn so much from you guys.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.