After several days of Oh God, Oh God, I woke one morning to sunshine and spring and a new sense of freedom. I cracked open the patio door, grabbed an ice pack and coffee, settled back into the leather recliner. I took up my iPhone—usually ignored first thing in the morning—now my preference for book and Bible. (Seriously. Limited to one good arm I’ve found it entirely unnecessary to haul a computer and stacks of reading materials up and down the townhouse stairs, when all I really need is this one small device.)
I started with a Psalm and a chapter from Acts, then sensed a prompting. Distinct and intriguing. (I’d recently downloaded cloudLibrary for my post-surgery reading—devouring a gem of a novel by Mitch Albom those first groggy days of convalescence.) The prompting led me to a search for a devotional, and a specific author. “Max Lucado.” Worth noting. While I certainly respect this pastor, I haven’t read anything by him in a number of years. Spirit’s whisper…
First book topping my search is one on prayer. As good as any. Before Amen. “Borrow” and “Read.” Opening story…
Max rewinds time, remembering days of daughters and piano recitals. One little girl, full of talent, approaches audience, difficult piece. She starts with gusto before hitting a roadblock, and the poor girl’s train runs off its track. A father remembers. Young performer muddling through, weak finale, final applause. Exits stage, returns to parents, head buried in familiar chest. “Oh Daddy. Oh Daddy.” Again and again.
My own sweet niece, twenty-one years old, did much the same last night, after losing her last ever college basketball game.
“Oh Daddy. Oh Daddy.” This, says Lucado, is prayer.
I’m not at all sure what happened that evening when I fell on the ice. In the days to follow I’d read Psalms with disturbing text.
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Psalm 34:19-20
This last bit read by my husband, just before surgery. He looked up quick to see if I’d noticed. I did. Go figure.
Oh Daddy. Oh Daddy.
And yet. These two weeks since being broken all I’ve known is my Father’s love.
“It almost seems a miracle it happened.” I’d said this to Angie over coffee. Angie who’d wrapped her arms around me and prayed for my healing—and it felt like God.
Yesterday I cozied up in Kyle’s fleecy flannel and went for a walk. Long and slow, breathing deeply of early spring in Minnesota. I realized as I tucked earbuds under stocking cap that this very hat was the culprit—that one last item I’d meant to run for when wicked ice crossed my path. Several days reliving the moment, victim to fear.
And now. Arm casted, sore tailbone, still healing. I walk and listen to my favorite teacher, online sermon. Oh Daddy. Oh Daddy. He’s talking to me.
Later I rewind. Open iPhone notes. One-finger typing, bullet-list miracle, love indeed:
· The opposite of faith isn’t doubt it’s fear
· Fear kills life
· Sign of progress in a spiritual journey is a decrease in fear and an increase in faith
· Decrease in anxiety over controlling life. Increase in ability to live in the love, joy & peace of the kingdom
· “All healing is the removal of fear”
· “Sanctification is a step by step, day by day removal of one fear after another”
· We are becoming people of love and courage
And now it's morning again and I’m sitting at the breakfast table, reading Lucado, eating toast.
Did Jesus die for your sins? Yes. Did Jesus die for your sickness? Yes. It is inconsistent to say that Jesus died for your soul and not your body.
I’m reading this when a truck pulls into our driveway. Still in PJ’s, my husband tells me they’re here to see you. Middle school kids from church, along with a leader, special delivery. They’ve traveled all the long way to Cambridge with a fleece-tied prayer blanket, just for me. We visit long and they play with Maple and I’m struck again by so much love.
The kids ask and I tell my story. Point right there through the front-door window, offending sidewalk. I tell them about snow melting and ice forming, how I went down hard, broke my wrist. And I tell them this, too, remembering detail. My very first thought, laying broken. I knew it was God, protecting my head.
Oh Daddy. Oh Daddy. Miracle of healing. Removing fear.