I stepped out of the safety of the hospital onto the dark shadowy path. I felt numb but strangely at peace.
It seemed to take forever to reach the end of the dark street and enter the old guest house. It was all so strange…so unreal. I fumbled for the key I’d been given and let myself into the dark hall-way. Now to find the number of my room. Stumbling up the stairs, I turned down a narrow passage and finally found my room. Falling into bed, everything began to spin through my head.
My son was dying? Was that really what the doctors had said? …couldn’t save him… an aggressive cancer…but, cancer or not his infection had gone too far…he was in a life and death struggle. Words, words, words all racing around on top of each other. Sometime through the day I’d been able to phone my husand but I couldn’t even remember our conversation.
A few days before, we’d been a happy family of four in country Victoria busily going about our usual day. Our son’s illness came suddenly and then the journey began, leading us from one hospital to the other, ending with an emergency trip to the Melbourne Children’s Hospital. So here I was, lying in a strange bed in a strange place knowing no one.
What was happening? What was our little girl thinking? What did she know? What was she overhearing? How could a seven year old understand when we couldn’t even comprehend it all? Totally lost in the turmoil of our own minds, how could we ever know what was going on in her little mind?
Almost forty years later, these are some of the memories that sometimes come back to me but there is one thing that I ponder most frequently.
We prayed…I prayed…our Church prayed…the local school and close-knit country town prayed but in all that time I never once thought to ask God to heal him. Why? Although this was the prayer coming from our hearts, it didn’t occur to me to pray that way…not once.
Don’t get me wrong, I cried out to God! I don’t think I stopped praying…or perhaps it was more talking with God. He revealed himself to me in ways I’ve never been able to find words to explain.
I was in shock; I’d been caught in a whirlwind of activity as we went from one hospital to another; one doctor to another, but with it came this indescribable awareness of God’s presence; of God himself. It was the most real and intimate time that I’ve ever had and it’s stayed with me for a lifetime. I didn’t think to ask for anything more than what God was ministering to me. In fact, I’d got to such a point of peace, revelations of God’s truth and awareness of his presence that time and eternity had become as one. I had given this child to God; we were in God’s hands. When the doctor told me the fever had broken and there was no longer any evidence of the cancer, I responded by collapsing…waking up on the bed next to my son!
I have never doubted that this was a miracle. I have never stopped smiling at the doctors’ confusion as they stumbled to give an explanation or their awkwardness as they listened to me assuring them that it was ok. I knew it was my God who’d done this! After all, he’s God. That’s easy for him!
But to give me a peace through all that; to make me so aware of his presence and his purpose…well…that was a miracle that still, over 40 years later, leaves me praising my awesome God! To God be the glory!!