It was early one Saturday morning. A man received a phone call from a mother who was at the local Medical Center. Her daughter, still in her teens, had suddenly fallen unconscious at their home. When the man a close friend of the family arrived, he saw the mother who was alone, waiting outside of the ER as her daughter receives CPR. The agony of those moments was beyond description. The mother neither welcomed him nor pushed him away.
Over the next four hours, the mother allowed him to accompany her through a harrowing morning and early afternoon. After the doctors restarted the young woman’s heart at least twice, medical testing revealed a massive blood clot in the young women’s lungs. These things hit suddenly, often with little warning, and are usually fatal. For some reason this young women was still alive. The man offered words to validate the mother’s emotions, provided a shoulder to cry on, heard her struggle as she searched for what she maybe had not done to protect her daughter; he remained present, listening, receiving, seeking to be a source of comfort and strength. Part of him wants to flee these times. It is not easy to remain present to agony. When Christ was on the cross most of His supporters deserted him and his mother in their agony…most, but not all. John was there.
The man felt the need for strength himself, so he used John as a model of strength for the mother and mostly for the daughter whose life slipped back and forth between life and death. The words from ACTS 17:28 flooded his mind, “In him we live and move and have our being.” He thought to himself, “This young woman’s life, her being is in God. My being and this mother’s being are in God, right now. It is all mercy and grace, just to be alive.”
Therefore, he began to pray with each breath. On the inhale, MERCY (receiving). On the exhale, GRACE (giving it to everyone around me). Mercy …Grace. Receiving Mercy. Giving Grace. Over and over until he felt it was not air he breathed in and out but the merciful and gracious Spirit of God. The man directed it toward the mother as he stood with her; toward the patient the young lady who we prayed with just before she was wheeled down the hall for tests; to the staff who hurried by with supplies and anxious looks. Mercy and Grace. Being and Strength. Life and Being….
The man learned that this young woman had dedicated her life to helping those less fortunate than herself. Mercy and Grace. Mercy and Grace. He also learned the grandmother was a Christian and an active supporter in her local church almost since its inception some 25 years ago. Mercy and Grace. Mercy and Grace.
Through a series of events, some might call coincidences; this woman received a very risky experimental treatment. The right people happened to walk in, at the right time, the right equipment was available and ready to go, and the right diagnosis pursued and treated. Mercy and Grace. And the young woman … her being came back into her body…was supported by a very caring and extremely determined staff…the young woman spoke coherently to her mother the very next morning.
The responsible doctor directing this young woman’s care called it a “miracle.” The man agreed. It was Mercy and Grace, every breath of it!