This morning has been quite wonderful! So much so, that I am just getting around to writing my daily blog, and it's now at high noon!
I woke up around 4:30 after going to bed much earlier than normal, knowing that I needed to support a dear friend scheduled to speak at a 7:00 a.m. men's gathering.
He first shared the story of a biking accident and the trauma experienced afterwards. His recovery quite miraculous, as he suffered a serious hematoma that eventually left him speechless, with stoke-like symptoms. Later, a 45 minute medical procedure only recently approved but available locally, from which he fully regained his speech capacity by the end of that 45 minutes!
I sat stunned as I was unaware of his situation given that we had been out of touch until only about six weeks when he lost his dear wife of 52 years unexpectedly from an aneurysm. How he held up as he shared his recent recovery from the accident, on top of the sudden loss of his amazing companion, all in the same calendar year is beyond me!
All solid evidence of his deep faith and the spiritual consolation provided by "angels," as he described the people sent into his life at just the right moments, from physicians, to Spirit filled Amazon delivery folk!
"God-winks" in his words. I sat spellbound by the goodness of God in his most difficult moments.
I love people who give credence to this faith journey, acknowledging both the medical and spiritual miracles that occur in painful life moments, knowing the source of both!
Shortly after he spoke another friend shared the challenges of remiving a recent physical growth that rose up on his hand. It occurred some time after a previous and life saving surgery for the removal of a serious skin cancer from his upper arm. His bout with melanoma was assumed properly treated and behind him, then the large knot appeared. It was too was diagnosed as a return of the melanoma.
This time it would require more drastic surgery, complicated by the location and nature of the cancer, having grown tentacle-like roots into his hand.
His doctor described the procedure and the radical necessity of removing a part of the hand and two fingers.
Being a descendant of Salem's Moravian culture, a trumpet player in the long respected Annual Easter Sunrise Services held here for centuries, the thought of losing two of his fingers, critical to playing his instrument caused him to share with others who might offer prayer for remedy.
His brothers in Christ soon layed hands upon him, anointing him with oil as prescribed in the Book of James. Prior to his dreaded surgery he shared his hope around this spiritual practice with the surgeon, only to have his faith somewhat scoffed at.
With tears of gratitude, a full hand and all five fingers outstretched, he joyfully shared with me the Dr.'s post surgery comments. Along with an apology for his doubt filled comments around the practice of "laying on of hands," the good surgeon shared that, in all his professional days of removal of such masses, typically requiring that they be teased out, damaging muscle tissue and likely the loss of fingers, the mass with its tenacles was able to be freely lifted out, without any loss of surrounding tissue. Wow!!
My friend did mention at times the sensation of "trigger finger", perhaps another God Wink, a reminder of his miracle and an encouragement to share often of God's grace!
As I have said before, had it not been for the amazing and miraculous moments experienced in my faith journey, being one not easily moved by religious practices for tradition's sake alone, I would likely be among those we label as unbelievers.
More and more I long for moments like this morning, where one's faith provides a boldness to share, a practical comfort in times of pain and grief, as well as visible evidence of the power of prayer.
Seldom does one witness such evident and divine comfort following such recent loss, as demonstrated by this grieving husband, his deep gratitude for the miraculous ideation that provides such turnarounds as his speech recovery, and then on top of that, throw in a hand preserved!
It's been a great morning!