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. Steve

    What a bunch of stupid, ignorant people. God is not punishing this man. God does not punish us in this life for things we have done. Some things are ironic but never intended. Sunday School 101: Good things come from God, evil from Satan. I don't know much about this guy and I don't even have an opinion about him. But to wish evil and pain on someone you don't like is just a sign of ignorance and disrespect for another human being. You all look like silly children.I can just hope God has mercy on you all.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  2. debbie

    gosh! some of these comments are absolutely the devil talking! sad they don't know it........ a Godly man was injured people, where is the compassion?

    rick – i pray God restores your sight loss and gives you and your family His comfort at this time. God bless you!!

    July 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  3. Greg

    Just because millions bought the book doesn't mean it's good or worked. Millions of people went to see Phantom Menace and that sucked. How did he get sap in his eyes? I know when I'm around sappy trees and my hands get sap on them, I don't put them anywhere near my eyes. Should they put warning labels on trees now?

    July 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  4. Grog

    I wanted to get rich by starting my own church.
    Church of the holy Smurfs.
    But the smurfs got very angry.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • NuffSaid

      You are good! LOL

      July 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  5. Mark Gilbert

    All of us here at Celebrate recovery in SC will be praying for you! You've changed my life- I hope I can return the blessing to you one day!

    July 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Nick


      July 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  6. Johann

    What would people say if he were a Rabbi? Nothing bad I hope, but aren't these responses a clear example of Anti-Christian hatred?

    July 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • John

      So true! Tolerance for everyone and every opinion, except Christians.

      July 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • CTYank

      Not at all, really. Maybe it's partly that what you believe is true _to_you_ but not at all necessarily so to others. Same applies to interpretations of what is alleged to be the "word of God."

      July 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  7. Grog

    Now if we could just catch him in an airport bathroom
    doing the stance..............

    July 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • NuffSaid

      Funny! LOL

      July 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  8. Thor

    O lord, please, in your divine wisdom, grant me a vision. Let me see where me and Rush and Glenn and Miss Sarah and most of the commentators on Fox – and about half the ones on CNN and all the other repug networks are headed when we leave this vale of tears. Thank you, O omnipotent one.

    ....HMM, that's not what I expected.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  9. JM

    God's will is not suffereing and pain(I know some will throw the Old Testament argument at me here) but that people would know and love Him. The reason bad things happen, even to Christians and "good people", is because we have a free will(I'm not saying because you said a four-letter word is the reason for your bout with the flu either). Love, which God is the very essence of, requires choice and free will. If God m ade us all serve Him, we would be incapable of love, just a bunch of robots serving an omnipotent master.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  10. Matt

    I've read some of what he's written, and I've read some of what's been written here. Both seem to be attempting to sway the views of the undecided to their camps. One writes to express love. One writes to express hate. I like easy choices.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • John

      Good post Matt!

      July 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  11. Jennifer

    I'm moving on from this blog! I sure hate to think that you people are the example we are to set for each other! I WAS feeling kind of bright today, and now I just feel sad. for you

    July 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  12. JS

    Keep praying, where was your god when his eyes were burnt. Come up with some excuse as to it is a test. I can justify and explain anything away, like how the easter bunny is real, or how santa claus is real and delivers presents to the whole world in one night, or how some man in the sky is watching and judging your every move.

    Pray to Santa, you may actually get something out of it outside of swindled out of all your money by men who claim to have answers to questions that are impossible to answer. Are people really this stupid – keep calling it faith so you can sleep at night. These swindlers are just men, preying on your fears and you sheeple buy right into it.

    It's incredible that in the year 2010, people remain this stupid and entrenched in a 2,000 year old fairy tale. I'll be accountable for my own actions and will continue to try to be a good person to those around me, while religion continues to teach hatred and fear and discrimination.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Craig

      2000 year old fairytale? How can you continue to deny the 1000's of artifacts and other references that exist to show that the Bible is not a fairytale nor the people who walked the earth. Where does the Bible teach hatred? If the Bible and religion is false, why do you continue to try to be a good person? I am sorry you have such a bitter opinion of religion. My faith has freed me from many things and I know that I will spend eternity with my Savior.

      July 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Greg

      Best Response Ever!

      July 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Greg G

      Craig = Living in a state of delusion.

      July 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • whatevs

      @Craig – why must we need religion in order to be/want to be good people?

      July 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • Craig

      Greg G. – just so you can save your future responses. There is nothing that you can say to me that would ever change my relationship with Jesus Christ. I probably should have never entertained you in the first place by posting a response, so this is my last one. I hope and pray that someone will someday come along and lead you to salvation and a relationship with Jesus Christ – not religion. My faith may be delusional to you but if I am wrong, I lived an honorable life, but if your wrong you have a lot more to lose. God bless!!

      July 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • Doug

      I love Craig's reply. He's placing a "hedge" on Jesus Christ. Upside? Heaven. Downside? Some time spent in church. He likes the odds because unlimited upside and limited downside. Sounds more like a hedge fund manager than a man of faith.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  13. JPT

    It could be that *somebody's* prayers are getting answered.....

    July 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  14. Mark C

    What's with the right-wing whack jobs and their eyes this week? First the man-baby and now this tool.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Snarkster

    Why is this news?
    Is it because he is a televangelist and has a spokesperson to let us know every unimportant detail of his life?

    July 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  16. Nathan

    Working man's definition for bigot – one who is intolerant of other views. Bigotry has its place.

    By your comments, you appear to be a bigot as well. Are you tolerant of pastor Warren's views?

    July 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  17. Grog

    Keep doing that with your right hand
    you will go blind.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  18. Craig

    I will pray for Rick as someone who is making a difference in the world and is building his kingdom.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  19. Jack

    You people are idiots. He no longer takes a salary from his Church. Rick Warren also gives away 90% of his income from his books/materials etc. You are no better than those you are persecuting. Unfortunately, all you need is a keyboard to slander someone. Easy to do when you are not face to face.

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

    What's with the right-wing wackos and their eyes this week? First the man-baby and now this tool.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:21 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.