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. Nathan

    Tell us what good is and why he isn't it.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  2. D Michael

    ah...I feel the love

    July 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  3. Maik

    That is just a gentle warning for huminzing people like Mr. Obama Husein who suport baby killing. But human nature is to pursue self glory, no different for Mr. Warren.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • sheppard

      You make no sense & you can't spell... what a waste of posting room for someone else.

      July 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  4. JPT

    If God were truly just and benevolent, he would strike these folks mute, not deaf (R. Limbaugh) or blind (Warren, G. Beck)

    July 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bobbie

      Neither Glen Beck or Rick Warren speak for all Christians. I find it interesting that everyone talks about how the terrorist Muslims are just "extremists" in wanting to kill non-Muslims and don't speak for all Muslims, but as soon as someone prominent in Christianity speaks out, they automagically speak for all Christians.

      July 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  5. Mark C

    What's with the right-wing nut jobs and eye problems this week. First the man-baby and now this tool.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  6. eric

    THANK YOU JENNIFER. i appreciate you judging me and calling me names for simply being curious as to how and why this happened to rick. see you at church on sunday .

    July 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Eric, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be rude to you! I guess in a bad way my point gets proved- that meanness begats more meanness. Sorry. If you truly want answers about the Lord and His ways, keep asking because he who seeks shall find Him! Again, sorry!

      July 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  7. Mario

    I feel absolutely no sympathy at all for someone who spends most of their time engaging in bigotry and denying people equal rights. Rick Warren helped "burn" millions of people with Proposition 8, he deserves far worse punishment.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bobbie

      You're right! How DARE he stand up for what he believes!!!!!!

      July 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Brad

    To all of you that say he deserves this: Why does he? He has hurt people really? Show me? He made people buy his book? I hate ignorance... Sounds like a lot of you are jealous of his wealth... typical...the underclass loves to see the upper class fall. Sounds like everyone here lacks a "Purpose in life"

    July 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  9. Anne

    Since it causes "temporary" blindness, why is he asking people to pray that his sight loss is restored? Does he not know what "temporary" means? When his "temporary" blindness goes away, it will not be a miracle or an intervention by God brought on by people's prayers. It will be because the blindness was, let me think – TEMPORARY! I mean, really.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • abl123

      What if it didn't come back? What would that mean? Hmmm...

      July 22, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
  10. Seriously

    Payback for "borrowing" the themes of numerous self-help books for his own benefit. He has never written anything original.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  11. Yep

    Greg, don't worry, I'll pray for you and hopefully you'll come back to the church

    July 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
    • Richie

      Come back to the church, what for? To be molested? Robbed? Or just duped?

      Wake up.

      July 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
      • Eric

        wow....you really need to have God touch your heart. I pray he does so and quickly.......

        July 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
      • Saddened

        Richie, who hurt you? so sad.

        July 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
      • Peter F

        Not at my church, friend. 🙂

        July 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  12. Johann

    It reminds me of Lord of the Flies. Nothing but hate. Pure hate, is what most of these post are about. So-called Progressive thinkers who aren't suppose to be this vicious, but can't help but laugh inside. This is why they hate us.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  13. brad

    I don't wish harm to him. But for those appalled on here...is it ok to wish pain or death on a "bad man"? Or just not on a "good man"?

    July 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
    • Bobbie

      It's NOT ok to wish anything bad upon any person – good or evil. That's Biblical, no ifs ands or buts.

      July 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  14. murmeister

    How about this? I'll pray that you get what you deserve!!

    July 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
    • Bobbie

      According to God's teachings (the Bible), NOBODY gets what they deserve. Why? Because Christ died for our sins so that, if we accept Him as our Savior and believe He died for our sins (past, present AND future), we won't go to hell (which is what we deserve as sinners). Of course, I don't expect you to believe/understand this if you're not a Christian.

      July 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  15. Ab

    Well, it's really sad to see people commenting negative remarks on Pastor Warren without knowing the facts about him. Society has gotten ridiculously ignorant on Christianity and Christians as a whole; and yet, people question what the world is coming to when they see evil being done all around. Warren paid back his church every penny of his past salary from his book sale and no longer wants to be paid for his service. If anyone calls this a rip off, then ponder again because this is loyalty! Please, as much as a lot of people think there’s no God, there is a God and His name is Jesus. He loves everyone but hates our evil doings. And yes…., He will return one day! So, let’s know Him more and fear Him!

    July 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  16. Sarcasmo

    Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • NuffSaid

      That was Excellant!!!!!!
      Loved It!

      July 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  17. Nick

    "For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope." – Jeremiah 29:11 -> those that are saying that God did this to Rick Warren are heretical. God will not do something like this to harm them. Rick Warren is doing God's work. Those that say he's getting rich off of people... do you know the financials for his church? Is he mis-using funds? Have you done the research? It's really amazing that we, as Christians, are supposed to show nothing but love to others, but there is so much HATE in these comments, even from those who claim to be Christians! I will be praying for you all...

    July 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  18. Jim

    The understanding that many show here is exactly like those who say that victims of violent crime deserved what happened to them.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  19. Nate from Atlanta

    Pat Robertson is definitely a bigot. I didn't realize it until recent years.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  20. Richard

    Religion is a soothing drug for some, but they do not always want to believe that the one who delivers the drug is acting only in his best interests.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
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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.