Morning sun slips through a front window breathing warmth upon the man huddled against the sofa’s edge. He, Phillip, welcomes the light, allows it to penetrate his creased brow and hollow cheeks. The silence of the hour prods thoughts to flit about his head aimlessly. His thinks back to that November day, not even a year ago, right before Thanksgiving. It was a routine checkup and some blood work. Then came that call immediately after the doctor got the tests back. “Your creatinine level is high, “he said, “Your kidneys are failing.” was the gist of his message. After that, there were numerous trips to different doctors, more tests, and an onslaught of meds. Fatigue started to set in, nausea, and gout crippling him for days at a time. He thought about how gracious God was to get him through that year teaching. Each day he asked for strength to see the day through and God answered his prayer.
Phillip thoughts shift to earlier that summer, flying home to visit his mom. She had been in the hospital herself, for quite some time, and he wanted to visit while he was still able. It was on the way back he ran into his former pastor. He told him about his illness and he remembers the pastor praying for him, right there at the airport. He claimed healing over his body, and he remembers coming away with hope. As the summer progressed though, he couldn’t eat, and was sleeping a great part of the day. Gout continued crippling him. Finally the doctor said, “Time to start the dialysis.”
A surge of guilt runs through him as he thinks back to his pastor. and his claim of healing. “Had he not enough faith,?” Should he of waited longer and God would have healed him?” He didn’t know. “No, no,” he remembers trying not to confuse himself. “In my own prayers I saw the chapel in the hospital where the surgery to insert the catheter took place, I saw the hospital bed, and the huge overhead lights of the surgery room.” “Why would God do that?”
He looks ups. Though early, there is enough light to read the labels on the boxes directly across from the
couch. Five across, seven high they are stacked, yellow and red labels on either side, green in the middle.
In a matter of hours these would be part of his life, he would need the solution inside these boxes to
function. Three days prior he stated the training for dialysis at the P. D. center. It was the kind that could
be done at home. “Peridonteal dialysis” it was called. “At first you will do exchanges four times a day,
manually,” .the nurse training him explained. “You need to know how to do it by yourself, in case the
power goes out. Eventually you will use a machine at night.” This morning was to be the start of these
exchanges at home. Suddenly thoughts flitted about his head again. Thoughts resounding again and
again, “Your health, your work is gone.” Thoughts reminding, “Life is finite.”
Phillip stares out the window, watching now as the sun slowly, steadily climbs. Light pours through as darkness, shade by shade, disappears. A wave of comfort rides in this light. It sifts through the rays and settles into the silence enveloping his thoughts. It slows them, steadies them, assures him all is well. He closes his eyes and watches as the words, “Be still and know that I am God,” float about his head. He repeats it to himself, again and again like a mantra. He remains there, at the sofa’s edge, not wanting to move, enjoying the brevity of this moment. He knows that all too soon everyday life will slam him, try to rid him of the assurance the morning Son has offered.
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