The day after Christmas David went for his 20-mile bike ride, and in the midst of an uphill climb experienced a sharp chest pain. He coasted home! Because of his family’s history with heart disease, we booked flights to Phoenix, AZ to visit his brother’s cardiologist. The stress test and the nuclear stress test came back normal. But because of David’s symptoms, the cardiologist went ahead and scheduled an angiogram. This took place on Friday, January 25, 2008. Two blockages in the left artery were discovered and could not be repaired with stents. The news took us by surprise. We’d been expecting that David would need stents. Now he was facing by-pass surgery. It was a shock to suddenly change gears.
However, as that day unfolded, God showed up in so many visible ways. David’s dad Bill, David’s brother Bill, and a dear Christian friend Everett were with me in the waiting room. All three of them have had heart procedures. They were allowed to accompany me when the cardiologist gave me the results of the angiogram. They helped me listen and know what kinds of questions to ask. It gave me great comfort!
The boys were with David’s step-mother Linda. I called to let them know what had happened, explaining that their dad would need surgery, but not that day. After we’d talked, Linda was able to explain to them further what by-pass surgery was and how long it would take their dad to recover because she’d gone through it with their grandfather ten years earlier. God was providing information and peace for all of us.
Later that day we sent out an email updating everyone about the impending surgery. We received so many words of encouragement from friends and family around the world! Those who had gone through by-pass surgery themselves were especially able to offer us words of hope and love. Isn’t it amazing to be a part of the body of Christ?!
The next Sunday we attended First Baptist Church of Scottsdale, our home church when we’re in the Phoenix area and where David was baptized 30 years ago. Pastor Bob told us that the church was going to adopt us, assist us financially with a love gift, bring us meals when David came home from the hospital, provide a car if we needed it—basically, however they could support us through this crisis, they would. What a powerful way to see God’s love in action! Near the close of Pastor Bob’s sermon that same Sunday, he reminded us that we are made in the image of God. Therefore, when we look at one another, we are looking into the face of God. He smiled and said, “God looks pretty good today, doesn’t He?”
This morning we received prayer shawls from the First Baptist Church of Littleton, MA. This is the church we attended before leaving for Mexico. The enclosed note said, “Dear Joyce and David, These 2 prayer shawls come to you from your family in Littleton. We ARE your family! Each thread is one of us, woven together in prayer to make a blanket of love to embrace you with. Please feel our prayers with you this week and always! Love, Pastor Debbie and The Family”
What does God look like? God looks like you. God looks like me. Sons and Daughters of God. We’re family.
P.S. We have a consultation with the cardio surgeon on Tuesday, February 5, at 3pm. Surgery will be scheduled after that.