A Great Day in the Neighborhood
While Monday of last week marked one of the best days of 2021, it started off a loser. I awoke feeling “out of sorts,” a strange fatigue that had dogged me for two weeks.
At first, I attributed the situation to a mysterious knee injury that forced me to ice it every night. However, when the knee pain faded, the fatigue didn’t.
Having had a double bypass and heart stents, I wondered if a similar issue were to blame. Finally, I communicated with my doctor’s office; the nurse texted back to say she had faxed an order to the hospital for a chest X-ray and an EKG.
While waiting for word they had received the order, an author I’ve helped with two books texted me: “I hope you are well. Just wanted to say hi and thank you for all your hard work and partnership.”
The timing of this text was more than coincidence. Quickly, I wrote back, “Not doing well. Leaving soon for hospital for an EKG and chest X-ray.”
“Wow,” he replied. “Praying for your healing!”
Fortunately, those tests didn’t take long. Back home, I knew the easiest way to let family, friends, and fellow church members know what was going on was a quick Facebook post.
Within three hours, more than 40 replies appeared. I heard from high school classmates I hadn’t seen in years. A friend from college posted a meme with a trio of praying hands.
Others said things like, “Praying for a positive outcome,” “Praying for my friend,” or “Praying for you brother for complete healing and to guide the doctors’ minds to find the issue.”
Boosting My Spirits
The unexpected groundswell boosted my spirits after what could only be called a bad week. It included a trip to a walk-in clinic where I had received what I considered the worst misdiagnosis of all time.
As many who became remote workers during the past 15 months have discovered, one hazard of working in an isolated environment can be slipping into a blue funk. That certainly happened to me after an extended bout with my mystery illness.
However, the encouraging messages kept coming.
That night after dinner I placed a Duo call to an old friend; we had reconnected three years ago when he was in town for his wife’s high school reunion.
I have been praying for him regularly for the past year after learning he had kidney cancer. After doctors removed one, he needed immunotherapy for troubling spots on the other kidney.
A couple weeks earlier, I had emailed him about my knee pain and what I assumed were related physical issues.
Near the end of our chat, he told me he had been praying for me and concluded, “The last few days I’ve felt led to step it up, so sometimes I’ve prayed for you twice a day.”
That was the kind of uncannily timely remark that can send goosebumps up your spine.
One More Touch on a Great Day
Later that evening I received a text from a friend. We meet for lunch occasionally, but because of his ever-changing work and travel schedule, it’s not that often.
“Any update on your hospital visit?” he asked. Knowing he saw the news on Facebook, I replied, “Chest x-ray and EKG all clear. A new consideration has been introduced: that maybe I got some kind of virus.”
Since a virus will pass much easier than heart trouble, I considered a virus good news. But the best news of all was those who came alongside me in a crisis.