Having previously been through a heart cath—the procedure where they snake a tube through an artery to look at the heart and determine whether any blockages exist—before, I wasn’t eager to undergo another last month.
Yet it proved to be the most pleasant experience to date.
Not just because the test showed there weren’t any blockages (though that didn’t explain my mysterious bouts of tiredness and other symptoms of late). The support I felt throughout the weekend and the Monday morning of the test left me feeling blessed.
After a doctor decided I needed to be evaluated for possible heart issues and sent me to the hospital, I felt exhausted throughout my 68-hour stay.
Yet once I got home, I felt fine, and have ever since.
I think a leading reason is peace of mind. Now I know there aren’t any budding blockages that caused my tiredness. Similar symptoms had preceded each of my previous journeys to the hospital for treatment.
But I also drew considerable encouragement from a network of friends and family members during the latest hospital visit.
Too tired to do much, I texted a number of friends across the country on Saturday and received a series of messages or phone calls in return.
“Word is out to the gang and they are already praying,” wrote a friend in Florida who used to edit a magazine where I had been a regular freelancer.
A client near Boston assured me he and his wife were praying; the next day he sent a second text: “You need to get better. I have lots of ideas brewing.”
A coauthor in Colorado who has also become a friend replied, “OK, we will join with you in prayer. Father God, we lift Ken before you with thanksgiving for your power and faith-filled requests for your quick healing touch on Ken’s heart and all organs that need to function properly.”
The Crowning Visit
“Praying for you,” wrote the president of an organization to which I belong. “Write down everything you are worried about. Then rip up the paper and throw it away—without talking about it.” (Good advice for any situation.)
Another friend in Florida told me he and his wife had prayed for me the day prior to the cath and for healing: “Receive the peace of the Lord, with a resting sleep.”
Besides these kind of messages, our youngest daughter and her daughter stopped by early Saturday evening to play a game of Five Crowns, with my meal tray as a makeshift card table.
Then on Sunday evening, our oldest daughter and her family stopped by for an hour. (When someone stays for more than 10 minutes on a hospital visit, it’s a sign the kind of relationship exists where neither party is anxious for the other to depart.)
Shortly after they arrived, so did a close friend. He had said he wanted to pray for me, so when the time came that he said he needed to leave, I told him I was expecting prayer.
It’s hard to describe that prayer, except to say that I could feel power moving through his hand as he laid it on my chest. He prayed that God do His work and heal me before the doctors even took a look at my arteries.
Can I say that prayer has a direct cause-and-effect relationship with the heart cath that revealed no problems? No. But it’s hard to argue with the benefits of Christian brotherhood and support when you go through any crisis.