I remember spending several hours in the surgical waiting room at Baptist hospital with the family of Mel Schroyer. Mel was having surgery for the removal of cancer in his larynx… Which means they are removing his larynx. Imagine going into surgery knowing that when you wake up life will be completely different… You will have to learn to talk with the aid of this little box. Add to this the thought that you hope that is the only place the cancer is still located. He has been through two cancer surgeries and two series of radiation therapy. Several hospital stays in ICU.
That afternoon, as he is prepared for surgery, the doctor says to him “There is a chance this surgery may cause you to have a heart attack. We will do everything we can to prevent this but there is the chance.” We had already prayed together but I couldn’t help but wonder how this made Mel feel. I have cancer. I will lose my voice in this surgery. And now the surgery may cause me to have a heart attack. WOW! Bring it on, Doc… see how much more I can take!
I sat and looked at the faces of so many people waiting to hear from the doctors. I wondered, as I scanned their faces, what were they thinking? I know they were joking, telling stories, reading and doing everything they could to distract themselves from thinking about what was going on in the operating room. Most were getting good news while others received news that was not as good. Some were with their ministers, pastors, priests. Others were alone. But I wanted all of them to know that they were not alone… God was there with them all walking with them through their own lonely journey.
I remember coming home after by-pass surgery and being afraid to fall asleep. I was afraid that I would not wake up. I had a difficult time until I finally realized that whether I wake up or not I am in the hands of Jesus. It is the same way in that operating room… and that waiting room. We are in His care no matter what happens.
Dear God, thank you for leading these doctors, nurses and medical staff to bring ill persons to a place where healing can take place. Thank you, especially, for your presence that surrounds us in every place. Amen.
Grace and Peace