"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Peace of My Mind

        This morning— early, this morning— I sat next to what would briefly become my bed in our hospital's outpatient surgical center, drowsily waiting for my "procedure" to begin. Without consciously eavesdropping, I overheard a young woman in the next bed trying to explain her trepidation about the back surgery scheduled for her. She had dozens of questions for the anesthesiologist standing by her bed, and with each one he commented, "That's a good question." For more than a half-hour he answered those questions, all the time trying to reassure her of the mundane, bullet-proof nature of both the surgery and the process of anesthesia she would undergo.
        When the interview drew to a close, she couldn't stem the tide of tears that had been rising behind her eyelids. She was terrified about the procedure, the anesthesia, even the staff that would quite competently perform their jobs. She was about to traverse unfamiliar territory, and seemed sure something would go wrong.
        Some would call her a worrywart. I call her reaction completely natural— natural, as opposed to supernatural.
        I recalled my episode of anxiety before undergoing "The Knife"; how I'd experienced concerns about the potential pain involved. How I had contemplated the possibility of dying from surgical complications. Yet despite those concerns, I had felt a sweet, unnatural peace while being wheeled into surgery— even before they pumped the feel-good drugs into me. I remembered praying the whole situation into God's more-than capable hands. Would I have the best surgeon for the job? That was God's problem. Would I react favorably to the anesthesia? That was also God's problem. Would some aid loose count of the surgical sponges, allowing an assistant to leave one inside my incision and causing toxic shock resulting in my untimely demise? Even that was God's problem. In view of all those possibilities that were God's problems, I couldn't find a single problem with which to worry myself.
        What could I do for that young woman? The obvious answer was to share Jesus with her. Yet, the nurse had closed the drape between us, trying to keep their exchange as private as possible. Dare I intrude on such a private conversation? If I had known for a fact that her anesthesiologist was incompetent, would I have violated that screen of privacy? Though I longed for an opportunity to share my supernatural peace with her, the young woman left with her husband, still upset about things over which she had no control.
        That was, after all, her most basic fear; after a life of pretending she was completely in control, she faced a situation where she felt powerless. Her life rested in hands other than hers— fallible, human hands. What a difference she would have experienced if only she trusted God for her security, if only she knew the love that drove Christ Jesus to the disgraceful death of the cross for her. Yet, every day uncounted, hopeless people refuse the one Hope that would give them the supernatural peace they crave.
        Lord, give me opportunities to share with others A Peace of My Mind. And give me the grace to live up to your holy Name.

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