I have in this hand a prepared devotion filled with the crisis born out of a traumatic brain injury occurring early in the evening of Thursday, September 22nd~ a gorgeous late Fall afternoon.
In this devotion, I pour out the grim circumstances related to a spill on a bicycle caused by avoiding a pothole on a picturesque rural road in which a helmet was worn. No cars were involved.
I talk about the aftermath consisting of 4 surgeries (3 of which were emergency); a deep vein thrombosis; 2 pneumonias; 2 hospital infections plus a superbug from which we stopped counting on day 59; 2 surgeries to remove a filter plus a damaged pituitary gland. I talk about practically living @ the University of Alberta Teaching Hospital where there is no better place to see a microcosm of our broken humanity.
And, I speak to the realities of critical care; of grief; of the haze and horror that descends upon a family in the midst of a storm such as this.
But, after 33 days our son, David, opened one gorgeous blue eye. It would be literally months before he was considered out of his coma based upon the Glasko Coma Scale.
However, in my right hand I have another devotion for you today, my faithful prayer warriors. In the moments, days, and months since that dreaded phone call~ one a parent never wants to receive~ we have been blessed to receive God’s grace through avenues never expected.
Initially, we decided to lean heavily upon our Lord, knowing that we could rely on His compassion, comfort, and guidance. My husband & I made a conscious decision to listen carefully, pray continuously, and follow diligently….’come what may’. This, we knew, was the most difficult trial we had faced together and we knew our faith would be tested. Time & time again.
We wanted to be alive in His word; faithful in obedience, and trustworthy in our actions. This was a storm in which we could not lose the sails and must man the masts at all time. Primarily, we had to believe in God’s promises and remember how faithful He had been to us during the breadth of our marriage.
At times, we felt as if we were in gales that would never let up. Each day I would hear past snippets from former book studies. Beth Moore in my left ear; your prayers in my right. Late each night before Wayne would travel home we would praise God for any advances forward and we would beseech Him to hear our prayers, reaching out for His mercy and grace. Then, there would be those times when we would cry in each other’s arms pleading to Jesus to hold us in the palm of His hand and spare our son.
God entered often. He came through your visits; through literally hundreds of David’s friends; and through encounters with the multitude of staff and strangers. He came quietly. He came boldly. He came every day as a presence of hope, love & joy. Always, He stunned me. He emboldened me. He led me to opportunities to share His message of the Trinity. “David,” I would say, “this is a wonderful opportunity for you to pray!” And to the janitor who entered David’s room: “Would you sing ‘Amazing Grace’ with me?” Or to the nurses: “Please pray the Lord’s prayer over David with me today.”
And they all did. 100% of the time. If technicians came in to change the lights, for example, I would ask them to pray a mother’s prayer with me for my son.
Who can resist God when a mother has tears in her eyes? Or, “what is your favourite Bible verse?” I often asked. “David’s is Philippians 4:13.” When cafeteria workers inquired about David’s situation, we would always end with~”would you pray for our son?” I envisioned you all cheering me on! It helped that Dave’s wall was covered with postcards & lettres, blessings & scripture; our healing cross over his bed.
I was always willing to answer any & every question. The former teacher in me! And, then, as time passed, I became more passionate about sharing with those whom I knew God would ‘knock their socks off’. Those people who had informed me under no uncertain terms that they were non-believers..”Oh I used to believe, they would say”….or,” don’t give me any of that mumbo-jumbo”. Aha! An opening!
And sure as the sun rises in the morning, God would present more and more opportunities. It dawned on me that as women and as mothers we have a great moment in time to spread God’s assurances, even “in hospital”. For we can offer His love through the warmth and wisdom of women. Gently, Softly, Boldly.
Boldness, I determined, breeds boldness. Aslan, the Lion in CS Lewis depiction of Christ is a visual reminder of this.
Breathing His majesty from feeling your prayers and knowing that we were held up as a family by this church inspired us as we felt your strength and support. So, I offer our appreciative thanks.
Prayer, we know, is powerful. God also taught us that to pray persistently is a testament of faith. And we all understand that when prayer is backed with faith, the grace and power of an Almighty God shows up boldly to proclaim His glory.
Like Daniel. Like Esther. Like Elijah. Like an ordinary young man [just] riding his bicycle on a quiet country road on a beautiful Fall day.
Shall we pray~