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On the morning of Margaret’s surgery

by davesandel on June 17th, 2021

Thursday, June 17, 2021                     (today’s lectionary)

On the morning of Margaret’s surgery

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart.

In the morning I awake all dreamed-up, caught in a flurry of monkey-mind, jumping from one thought to another like branches on a monkey’s tree. Slowly I regain myself. I am alone and Margaret’s in the hospital. A heavy dead weight lays down on my stomach. I am sad.

Good morning, Lord. Thank you Lord for this day. Good morning, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Come Holy Spirit. The prayers rush out of my mind and my lips, and I struggle to remember who I am. God’s child. It’s easier to remember who God is. In his goodness, in his mercy, he hears my prayers.

This has been my daily morning life for longer than a couple of weeks, because Margaret has been sick longer than she’s been in the hospital. What now, Lord? What happens today? Deliver us from evil.

This is how you are to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Nearly every morning when we lived in Urbana Margaret rose from her bed and sank onto her knees. She prayed, Our Father, who art in heaven. She wonders now how she will make that move of humility and worship. How can she sink to her knees when her body won’t let her?

Often after getting coffee Margaret spent some time with the Lord’s Prayer, sitting at the computer and praying her own couplets after each phrase.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

In your world, Lord, nothing is ever wasted. You don’t miss anything in our lives, and we are secure in your goodness.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Margaret’s surgery is today, this morning, 7:00 am, Dr. Neely and his team ready to do their magic on her heart. Her new aortic valve will come from a cow and her new mitral valve will come from a pig. Infected tissue between the valves will also be replaced, by bovine tissue. Nothing artificial. Because of this she won’t need blood thinners for the rest of her life. The whole idea of this transplanting is like a miracle to me, and of course it’s a miracle to anyone. It’s a miracle, period. And yet, to God, it’s our daily bread. He gives and gives and gives.

Andi came yesterday, and carefully removed the wall art by Miles and Jasper. We plan to put it all back up in her recovery room after she returns from surgery and ICU. She’ll be on the same floor, with the same wonderful nurses she’s had for the last eleven days, Ime and Audrey and Ian and Nicole, Elijah, Anna, Jocelyn and so many others.

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust, and we fly away. God’s love and grace don’t stop for anyone, God’s love and grace goes on and on and on, and it’s not what I’ve done or undone that matters at all. Especially, Lord, forgive whatever roots of arrogance are in me that you love me differently than anyone else, and that your gifts are somehow reserved for some rather than for everyone. Let me love you, not your gifts. We are all your children, even if all our hearts are weary with evil and self-delusion and deceit.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

I’m up at 4:30 this morning, and at the hospital by 5:30, and Margaret has been awake even longer. Not an easy thing, heading into the surgical theater, where someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. But Jesus goes with you, as he went with his friend Peter (John 21). I pray for Margaret’s body and her soul, and for her mind to be still and receptive to the finger of your goodness.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.

Shannon gave us a book of liturgies, and here’s one for the “morning of a medical procedure.”

My great hope is secure. Let me rest in that. At the end of this day, I will still be your child, utterly dependent on you, utterly loved by you. At the end of this day, my life will yet be hidden with Christ, even as it now is. I will remain an heir to the promise that this imperfect, mortal body, though it faces temporary decline, will one day be swallowed up in a glorious immortality. You, O Lord, are tender and present and sovereign over all circumstance, and you love us fiercely and eternally.

The prayer ends with: “This day will hold no surprises for you. Let me rest in that.”

Your heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask him.

(2 Corinthians 11, Psalm 11, Romans 8, Matthew 6)

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