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Reach inside and heal her heart

by davesandel on June 7th, 2021

Monday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time, June 7, 2021                      (today’s lectionary)

Reach inside and heal her heart

Kyle and Mike, dressed up as EMTs, helped Margaret get herself onto the gurney, headed down for the ambulance to take her to Ascension Seton’s downtown hospital, where she would get ready for an esophageal echocardiogram today. I took videos of them for Miles and Jasper, who are fascinated by everything emergency. Margaret made jokes with them, as she has with everyone. Bless the heroes who help us, hope they can smile along with her.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement.

Kyle said, “Oh, by the way, it’s my first day.” Mike looked at him oddly and said, “Wait a minute, it’s my first day too.”

“I guess we’re the first day twins,” Kyle said. Margaret didn’t crack a smile, but they did. “We’re just joking,” she got them to say.

The new hospital for us is actually the old hospital, with rooms half the size and a relatively small window facing an atrium … picture the Congress Hotel in Chicago, but with crowded hallways full of rolling carts. On the other hand the nurses were amazing, the doctors were helpful and friendly, and the food … well, it was the same not-so-great as the first hospital.

If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement as well, which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.

Margaret keeps making jokes with everybody on the staff. (I think President Reagan did that too.) She shows them “The Chosen” app and pictures of our grandkids eating watermelon, sorting bananas, blowing bubbles. A friend texted, “I’m glad Margaret is in a bigger hospital. More people to entertain!”

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Her mitral heart valve is malfunctioning because of some so-called “vegetation” growing on it, which means it’s narrowing, as well as opening and closing too slowly. Her aortic valve was replaced in 2017, but they left the mitral valve alone. Picture a squeaky door in the Congress Hotel in Chicago. Along with a few other problems, this presents several possibilities to her doctors. Maybe today we will get more clarity about her future treatment.

I think she talked with three nurses and four doctors today. Tomorrow there will be more. Her willingness to listen, consider, understand, hope, be patient, be still … is fueled entirely by the prayer she prays pretty much all the time under her breath, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.” She’s exhausted, but you can feel her determination to keep praying, and to stay with the Holy Spirit as she watches the fear and sadness, just sitting there, waiting for her.

As The Remedy’s Psalm 23 says so well, I will not give into fear or choose selfishness, for you are right there with me. Your rod of truth and staff of love, they comfort me. You provide a feast to nurture me in plain view of my enemies.

While Andi visited yesterday afternoon, we talked about God reaching inside her chest and holding her heart in his hands, brushing off the detritus on her mitral valve, and healing her from the inside out. And when Andi left for home, that’s just what she prayed.

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. Look to him that you may be radiant with joy.

Today is the day that the Lord has made. When I got home last night, before anything else, I fed the birds.

(2 Corinthians 1, Psalm 34, Matthew 5)


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