Monday, October 08, 2007


I drove on winding roads, autumn trees on the brink of glory bending over me. But it's not quite time for these majestic trees to treat us to their glorious color. I was heading to our local hospital for a mammogram. No big deal. But at my age--and others my age confirm this--any trip to the doctor or any diagnostic test done can be life-changing. One day you're fine, the next you are thrust into a nightmare of specialists and treatments.
I was reminded of other trips to this hospital--racing down these roads as my father-in-law lay dying, and then another rushed drive in the darkness the night I witnessed my granddaughter's untimely birth. After that, there were the many subsequent visits to the neonatal ICU. Oh, the walls of hospitals hold such fear and grief. As a young naive nurse I sobered quickly to the reality of this world when I was drenched in the suffering of people.
Three years ago I made this drive in the dusky dawn, anxious about the high intensity CT scan prescribed to help the doctors figure out why I'd had a fever every day for seven weeks. That morning as I lay beneath a monstrous machine clanging and banging as it took pictures of my lungs, a peace descended on me. God was with me, holding me through that dark time, assuring me this was just part of my journey. That time I escaped unscathed, but illness will surely come again as this old body wears out. Still, I know I can trust the one who knows the number of my days on earth.
Yesterday in church our music director and his brother gave us a beautiful gift of worship. With trumpets, the organ, and piano, they ushered in the Spirit of God. It was one of those moments when I considered the possibility that the roof of the church might just open up and we would all soar away. (No, I'm not talking rapture. Just a moment when the things of earth recede into the farthest corners of your mind and your total focus is on our glorious, majestic, eternal God.) I joined my voice with millions before me, millions to come, and millions that right then were praising my God, our God. I felt small, but not diminished, rather fuller and richer and more whole.
"Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." Hebrews 21:1, 2. Come what may, I will not fear. Our God is with us.
So I had my test, as countless other women before me. The nurse gave me parting gifts of a calendar, a packet of forget-me-not seeds, and a dinner mint wrapped in pink. I went in to dress, dropping my little lead BB shields into the trash on top of many others. Noticing the pile of candy wrappers, I opened my mint and added my pink paper to the rest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I applaud you for taking good care of yourself! Keep up the good work!!
June :-)