VISITING THE ER

If you’ve ever been to an Emergency Room, then you have a good idea of what I am about to say. It was a horrible situation. It started on Friday night right after my shift at the Amish Village. I walked into the living room with the hope of kicking off my shoes, eating whatever I could find in the fridge, and then plopping down on the couch where I could “rest my eyes”. But as nice as that sounded, it was not to be. Instead, I heard “Come on Bill, you have to take me to the Emergency Room”.  What? The emergency room?  I knew I was dead tired, but NOT that tired.  It turns out my wife needed an emergency CAT scan, and we needed to get moving. Now wait. A CAT scan? Isn’t that something you schedule in advance and then you wait for the results? I didn’t understand what was happening. Fortunately, my wife was able to fill in the details as I drove frantically, still, with many unanswered questions. As discombobulated as I was, the night was just beginning.

Upon arrival at the ER, we parked the car, got through the armed guards (no kidding, it was like going through the TSA at the airport), got our IDs and then we were ushered into a room where they asked some preliminary questions. That wasn’t so bad because I figured we would then head back to where the CT scan was, and we’d be out of there. Oh boy, was I wrong. We wouldn’t see a CT scan or talk to another human being for at least six hours.  

A SEA OF HUMAN SUFFERING

Our time wasn’t spent in solitude, oh no, we sat in a sea of human suffering and frustration that can only be found in an ER waiting room. Near us was a young man who wore a t-shirt with a graphic picture of a naked woman on it. Every time my eyes would go in his direction, I would quickly move them so that people wouldn’t think I was staring at the artwork. To the left of us was a man who was suffering from a bad case of the heaves, and then on the other side there was a woman who I thought had died, but by the reaction of the lady with her, I was apparently wrong. So, between the 50-degree temperatures (why do they keep the ER so cold?) and a lack of human leadership, we simply waited, and waited, and waited.  

CAST ALL YOUR ANXIETY ON HIM?

While I was waiting, two thoughts entered my mind. Is my wife going to be okay and how will I get the car out of the parking garage. The hospital had just remodeled their ER and I wasn’t sure about the layout. Let me address the primary concern first, my wife. Peter said in I Peter 5:6-7: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him. Because he cares for you”.  I’ve quoted that verse many times from the pulpit, I’ve shared it with many people who were recently diagnosed with cancer and I have included it in many encouragement cards, but never have I had to quote it to myself, sitting in an ER, wondering what is wrong with my wife.

WAS THAT VERSE TO BE TRUSTED OR BELIEVED?

It was at that moment that I realized, if that verse was to be trusted or even believed, it was going to have to happen right there, right now. It was a few moments later that a calm came over me. I no longer heard the man heaving, or the lady who was dying or even saw the artwork on the kid. No, at that point I realized Who was in charge and Who it is that cares for me.

Now, as for getting the car out of the parking garage…. let’s just say I made it home.

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