If I can, I try to meet members of the congregation when they check in at the hospital for surgery. Just to pray and be with them as they wait for their name to be called. Show up times are usually early in the morning, but I’m up early anyway, so I get to about 90%. I’ve been at the local hospital often enough lately that the receptionist commented today, “Oh, he’s here all the time.”
Now that the days are getting shorter but the time hasn’t changed yet, it’s dark, really dark when I arrive. The first wave of patients arrives about 6 am, so the place is already hopping by the time I arrive. Today, the family was there before me, already staged and ready. I immediately get to the prayer; you never know how quickly their name will be called. Then we have time to chat for a bit. Usually other family is there, so I get to meet and get to know them, too.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another member arrive, someone I didn’t expect to see. So I got to spend some pre-op time with them, too. One of those in the right place at the right time God moments that remind me He’s up pretty early, too. The second patient mentioned how glad they were I was there. They hadn’t said anything to me previously because up until they got in the car this morning, they weren’t nervous or anything. But on the way they started thinking about what was about to happen, what the recovery might be like, and were a little on edge. It was a ministry twofer for me, always welcome on a busy day.
It’s also a good reminder that just because someone says a procedure or surgery is no big deal doesn’t mean it isn’t. Something you can handle a week out suddenly weighs on your soul the morning of. We put our best foot forward because we want to look faithful, trusting, and confident. You’re not fooling God. And you don’t have to. Who is faithful, obedient and strong on your behalf? That’s right, the one who heals, comforts, strengthens and resurrects.
And I get the privilege of reminding you of that amazing truth. That’s part of why I like my job.