We sat in the surgery waiting room in a small circle of 3 then 4. Brought together for no other reason than the woman in the operating room. She was daughter, friend, and girlfriend to those of us present. We talked, stared off into space, checked our phones, read magazines and books. Time went by painfully slow as we waited and watched the digital board flash green, blue, pink.....in surgery, finishing surgery, in recovery. Joel and I prayed quietly inside and I took comfort in knowing others had God's ear, including 150 Knee Team members. I silently wondered where the other two present found their comfort.
I looked around the large waiting area and noticed to our left a room with glass windows and open doors where at least 20 people crowded together in chairs and on the floor. They were there when we came in and they were there when we left. As I studied the faces of young and old I wondered about the person who drew such a crowd. A nurse approached the door and said, "Oh you are all here just for him?!" A male....that much I knew. We left with our good news before they received any, I prayed all went well for them too.
The room full of people reminded me of when my older sister, Jo, had a mild stroke. By the time my husband Joel and I drove the two hours to the hospital that Sunday, her room was filled with people. Three generations gathered around this 80 year old woman sharing love and laying hands as we prayed over her and waited for the doctors reports. Stroke is a word we don't like to hear, but the word "mild" softens the blow. Her amazing recovery testifies to God's healing power in the laying on of hands and strong genetic code that pulses through her body.
I reflected back even farther to another time, when after 6 hours of driving we arrived at a hospital room with loved ones gathered around a bed where upon my mother lay in a coma. It was near her time to go home with Jesus, and we stood around her in unity while she struggled with what held her earthbound. Joel leaned in close and told her it was okay to go to the light...go to the light Ann....and then she did. We gathered three days forward united by family ties, grieving with hope and celebrating a life fully lived.
Many events bring us together ~ birthdays, weddings, funerals, holidays. But there is something more that is present in those hospital rooms while waiting...for surgery to end, for doctor's reports to come, for death's last breath and a forever life to begin. Watching the digital surgical boards, laying hands on a loved one, saying goodbye or celebrating a hello~~there is that something more. For me the waiting holds a sacred quality. A form of quiet, sometimes unsettled worship knowing the one for whom we gather is not held in our hands but His.
Joining with Ann Voskamp today over at A Holy Experience. Counting gifts in the moments of our lives