It’s Monday morning, under leaden skies. Cars race along the freeways, heading for somewhere. To the office? On errands?
For me, it’s the hospital. Minnesota’s Heart Center at Southdale, to have my “device” checked. After a half-hour of cardiac imaging, “Good pictures,” they said. That must mean it’s working. I’m relieved.
We were late for this appointment. All that work for nothing. Doing my nebulizing. Getting dressed. Driving through two cities to get there. Big disappointment. We headed for the elevator. “Come back,” we heard them saying from the check-in desk. Second chance. My little prayer, answered. Praise God! I’m in.
The technician comes for me. Off comes my sport coat. “Your shirt, too,” she said. “Lie on your side.” She tests various spots. “Heart’s good,” she says. The lights go down. The probe begins twenty minutes later. I’m excused. Molly helps me make way for the next patient. Back to the waiting room. Molly heads out for errands.
I watch the people. A masked assortment of old folks. Old folks with hearts. One bent old couple with canes. They find seats. And wait. We all wait.
Then I hear my name. Much sooner than the rescheduled time. Whew, I’m ahead of the game. We walk to a little office. “Sit in the big chair.” More leads attached. We’ll see how much your heart can do on its own. I pass. Six months to go. Then they’ll replace the “device.” A small surgery. In six months.
To stay alive. To keep going. That’s what all these people in the waiting room want. More time. More life. I am among them.
I think about that. That precious thing – of life. Life with dear Molly. Life with precious friends. Life in the world. Trying still, to make a difference.
Is it worth it? Do I count? Will the world be better if I stay? I want to try. My Mayo doctor, a week ago, said, “You make a difference being here. People watch. They count on you. Your presence is important.” I thanked him.
I do want to stay. As long as I can be useful. And with my dear ones. And yes, most of all, with my Lord. He does dominate my days. He moves me about. He puts me beside others. We talk. We pray. Lights go on. Lights of love – and courage, and hope.
I’ll stay for that. With Him. As long as it helps.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES