As I make yet another trip to the ER, I am once again filled with emotions. Lots of details run through my mind, recollections of being here numerous times, concerns that I will remember important info I may need to share, concerns of details beyond these walls to be sure there is coverage for others for whom I provide care. And of course, concerns regarding what Don is experiencing yet again. He has been through a lot already in these last four years, visited ER rooms and doctor’s offices, too many to count. Do I even want to? And now here we are once more…
I glance at those around me. Each one of us had a different idea of our what our day would be like when we awoke this morning. There are likely more questions looming and hidden in the depths of each soul – many which will go unanswered. The host of illnesses and injuries and traumas represented here demands much inner and outer strength from the staff seeking to bring physical relief and emotional support.
‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…’ God reminds me. Yet as I look around for the goodness of God it remains hidden, buried beneath my emotions and questions, though I take comfort in that it remains – Present. Steady. Permanent.
And as I look past my own hurts and concerns, it also appears to be hidden among all the sufferers here in the waiting room. ‘If you seek Me you will find me, if you seek with your whole heart…’ God whispers again. Lord, I know You are everywhere but it must be hidden in plain sight. Help me to find Your goodness here and now, my heart quietly responds. To be truthful, my heart feels more fragmented and fractured rather than whole, but I will be vigilant, for I need His goodness that accompanies His presence like I need air to breathe. Especially now, especially here.
And so my breathing turns into silent prayers of intercession for the people around me – painful, fear-filled faces in need of faith-filled comfort and courage. And prayers for staff needing the wisdom beyond their experience. And prayers for doctors with knowledge, yet many unaware of the Source of the true knowledge. And prayers for patients who occupy each bed, many receiving life-altering news today. Even prayers for visitors breathlessly arriving with few words but a deep desire to share a moment in time with a suffering loved one. All of us have something in common – we are needing to see the goodness of God in the land of the living.
And as I partake of His heart for them in silent prayer, I begin to see His goodness unfold! His goodness and mercy waiting to be poured forth, released through the prayer of one of His kids commissioned in a place like this to partner with Him and look beyond. Beyond the present tears and fears, beyond even false bravado. To bridge the will of heaven upon the earth. And as I pray forward the goodness of His love lavished on others, I, too, taste and see the redemptive goodness of the Lord. Toward me. Through me. Through a simple prayer lifted up in offering to Him. How good He is! Who’s to say that there isn’t at least one among these thousands who needs a prayer of intercession to intervene in this seeming interruption of their life today? I personally would not have breathed a prayer for any of these individuals had my own plans been uninterrupted today. Could our emergency be used to provide the answer to someone’s silent cries? Could we see beyond our pain and be part of a bigger purpose and mission than we could imagine? Is this where what Satan plots and plans for evil, God brings forth good?
But surely not this way, Lord!
And yet the goodness of His heart chases away the shadows from my own. And I actually thank Him for this precious and sacred opportunity to minister as anonymous priest to those who are unaware of their deepest need, unaware of His love specifically shed abroad for them. May there be an awareness that this day, in this sacred place, someone joined the Spirit of the Living God in intercession for them, being a shield bearer in the battle for their spirit. And I wonder how many others of His kids are in this place also joining Him in offering up prayers, joined together without even knowing one another by an eternal bond that transcends time and space. This sacred, chaotic moment in time where heaven and earth were bridged through one desperate prayer to see the goodness of God in this place.
I wish I could keep this perspective once we move out of emergency into ‘normal’ life (whatever that might be). I don’t want to lose it. Then again, what if we move out of emergency into further personal urgency and my eyes and heart want to stay closed from the rest of the world? I continue to seek Your healing touch for Don, for wholeness and peace – and eyes to continually see Your goodness.
So in this moment, I thank You for Your invitation to join You on this holy mission. For Your Presence which brings goodness and wholeness and light into desperate places. May Your goodness be revealed in tangible ways in each of our lives for the glory of Your Name.