Monday night I curled up on the couch to watch a little TV and eventually dozed off. I was there keeping Scott company as he had spent the last five days not being able to stand upright without his head exploding, or at least feeling like it was going to.
He has a bit of a freaky medical history and was having some issues. Five days before, he’d had a medical procedure done as a precautionary test to determine if his recent issues were related to his freaky history, or if they were caused by some new ailment. Or, as he and I have come to classify many things, maybe it was all just a result of THE CURSE. You know, the whole Adam and Eve thing and Satan attempting to destroy everything and the complete downfall of man and all.
Anyway, he had been miserable since the medical procedure.
Not only that, we’d also experienced a considerable bit of difficulty trying to get information from the medical facility and all the lovely people that work there about the test results. Scott called every day for five days and no one would return his calls or respond to his pleas that he wasn’t doing too well. That alone is enough to add to the headache.
He even missed church on Sunday. As a minister, you only get 52 chances a year to do that thing you do. If you factor in 2 weeks for vacation and that some people only come on Christmas and Easter, it’s really even less than that. Skip what you have to through the week, but push through it and show up on Sunday morning. For him to miss a Sunday morning because he wasn’t well meant he REALLY wasn’t well. His lips and cheeks were as pale as his backside that never sees the sun. He spent the rest of the day lying on the couch.
He tried to get up and go Monday, but eventually ended up back in the bed again. When I got home from work we had some dinner and both of us went back to the couch. He finally confessed that he couldn’t go on like this so we made plans to get up in the morning and head to the hospital, the ER if necessary. Since we couldn’t get a doctor to call us, we thought making a personal visit might produce at least a few answers. I made a mental list of things to pack in my oversized handbag (i.e., snacks, dental floss, Sudoku puzzle book, cell phone charger). Waiting rooms are awful without these luxuries.
Later I got up from the couch, moved to the bedroom and crawled into bed. It didn’t take but a minute before I was sound asleep. Scott was just a few minutes behind me in coming to bed. I was already asleep but stirred when I felt him sit down on the bed. He laid his head back on the pillow and spoke a few words to me. I realized then that he was in pain, practically in tears and scared to death that something might be seriously wrong with him. I was no longer asleep. I was awake. Wide awake.
I laid there listening to him breathe until he eventually drifted off to sleep. I laid there with my eyes open wondering what in the world to do for him, for me. Thirty minutes or so went by. I was still awake. He seemed to be resting OK. The phone rang once, which is not long enough for the message system to pick up. Post bedtime ringing phones are a sure sign that I’m not going back to sleep anytime soon, especially if I have no idea who it was or why in the world they dialed my number after midnight. I guess it was just meant for me to be awake. Sleepless nights are a part of The Curse too; just another way to destroy me, because I’m useless without my beauty sleep.
Scott was lying on his side facing the edge of the bed. I put my hand on his back and began to pray. I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t want to leave his side and get out of earshot of his breathing noise. I prayed for forgiveness for being stupid, stubborn, neglectful, and lazy. I knew I needed to confess everything so that I could be certain there was nothing blocking the path of my prayers to God. Then I asked God to heal whatever it was that was making Scott feel this way. I did not pray in statements. I did not say, “Oh, God, please heal Scott.”
Instead, I prayed in questions. “Will You please?” “Will You?” After a long time of asking God that same thing over and over, “Will You?”, the words took on a different perspective.
Will. You. Say them over and over. Will. You. Will. You. Will. You. Will. You. Will. You. Will. You.
After a while, it became a little difficult to tell the beginning from the end. You. Will.
Of course. You Will.
My prayer then became merely, “Your Will.” Whatever it may be, God, Your Will is what I want. I know You Will, if it is Your Will.
That’s the last thing I remember praying as I drifted off to sleep.
About 3 hours later my alarm went off. I immediately got up and into my getting ready routine. That’s me. Once I have a plan, let’s get busy. No dilly dallying. No lollygagging. Just do it. I packed my snack bag and my puzzle book and was ready to go to the hospital.
Scott was moving a little slower. I tried to be patient. I just wanted to go. He was taking his time. I kept asking him how he felt. Finally, he asked me if I thought you could scare yourself into wellness.
I understood. He went to sleep scared to death; he woke up without the fear of it.
He also woke up without the headache and all the other ickiness that had sent him to the couch for the past week. I think he felt normal, but maybe a little hesitant to believe it.
He called the doctor’s office one more time, just in case. Wouldn’t you know it, they called him back in about 15 minutes. By now it had been 6 days and they hadn’t called, but now they respond in record time. They finally looked at the test results and saw that it was negative; everything was as it should be. Really, by then Scott didn’t need them to tell him that because he was already feeling normal.
I’m convinced that the reason no one had called us about that test before now was because no one had looked at it. I’m also convinced that the reason no one had looked at it before now was because God was waiting on us to get to the “Your Will, whatever” point. None of us knew the test was clear until Scott had already experienced the healing.
Do I think God Photoshopped the scans? Maybe. Maybe not. But it doesn’t matter. At that point Scott was ready to go on about his day as if it was just another Tuesday, and he did. He packed up his things and headed to work.
I took up the vigil on the couch.
I had not told Scott about my prayers. I had not said a word to him about the “Will You?” question or the “Your Will” answer.
I felt as if I had just experienced God’s glory right there in my own home, right there on my own husband, right there in front of me. It paralyzed me.
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. I could hardly speak. All I could do was just sit there.
I know now why God put Moses in a cleft in the rock when He passed by. It was just too much.
How do I live now after experiencing such a thing?
I did not see God’s face, but I felt it. I see the evidence.
People won’t believe me. They will find ways to reason and rationalize the events. Because of that my tendency is to stay in that rock cleft, hide out until no one suspects anything different; sit on the couch until the awe fades away.
But I have lived through such a thing to be able to tell the story. And I will tell it because I have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only , who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. It is the One and Only thing that can and Will stop The Curse.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” Exodus 33:19-23