It was July 5th. I had to report to ambulatory care at 8:00 AM for a 10:00 AM operation. So, of course, we arrived early. We checked in and waited. I was taken into the pre-op area to have my vitals taken yet again, and to get changed into that wonderfully stylish hospital gown. My family had to wait a bit but was then brought into my room. As we waited, the medical staff came in to do more tests, take blood, and hook me up to the first IV line. It was getting close to 10 AM and I overheard others saying the OR was backed up. Finally we were escorted to the surgical floor. My family was taken to the waiting room and I was parked in a hallway, behind three others. Each member of the surgical team came up to me, asked my name, birthday and procedure, then explained their role. I was hooked up to more IVs and probably gave my name and birthday 8-9 times. Once I know I joked about the procedure but I’m still a man so he knew it was a joke.
Finally I was wheeled into the OR. More explanations, more things put onto my body, and then I had to use a nebulizer so my throat would be numb enough for the breathing tube. Unfortunately, they had to put that in while I was still partially awake. It was about 11:45 and I looked at all the people in the room, talking with each other while taking care of their parts of the surgery. Realizing I was the second surgery for the team, I began to pray for them and for those who had and about to have surgery. And I prayed for my family as they waited. I felt love.
The next thing I remember is kind of waking up in another room with people talking to me. Once a little more awake they took me to my hospital room where I was reunited with my loved ones. At this point I was under anesthesia for about 8 hours so you can imagine what I looked like, and what I sounded like. I smiled at my daughter and she said “Aunt Tina took me for water ice.” I feebly asked “where is mine?” Kiran looked around with that “was I supposed to get him some” look on her face. My nurse said “come with me” and took Kiran out for a moment. They returned with some water ice and my daughter lovingly fed me as my wife stood by my side.
Faith, Hope and Love; they are the foundation of our lives. I had faith in my surgeon, but I have more faith in God. I hoped for a good outcome, but my hope is firmly in the Lord. And I love my family, and I am loved. Faith, hope and love. With these three things, how can we go wrong?
This summer was pretty short – but just in these few summer months we have seen far too many violent acts in our country. Shootings in night clubs, violence against innocent people, violence against police, stabbings, and the like. And all of these acts are opposed to our faith, hope and love. What do we do? We remain firm in our faith. We look towards our hope in Christ, and we love one another as Christ loves us. We do those little random acts of kindness like feeding a person water ice after surgery, or sitting with a family while a loved one is in the O.R. We send cards of support, we trim someone’s garden. We offer whatever help we can. And we expand that to other people – people we don’t know. Because that is the radical love Jesus calls us to.
Perhaps if we stopped getting in a huff over silly, insignificant things, and loved each other more, we can change the world. After all, a small rag-tag group of fishermen, a tax collector and a political radical did that very thing. They had faith, they realized their hope and they banded together to show love. And the world changed.
Faith, hope and love, the foundation of our lives. And when we add those three things together, our faith, our hope and our love, we will change the world and experience God’s grace.