“Oh Lord! You’re kidding Doctor Campbell, aren’t you?
“No I’m afraid I’m not Mrs. Henderson. After surgery, you’ll need to wear the body-brace and stay immobilized for at least three months.”
While driving home, Liz cried. We shouldn’t have left Atlanta… I barely know anybody’s name here in Houston… who will help me? Maybe Floyd can get some time off… Oh Lord, he doesn’t know the difference between a frying pan and a Crockpot. Who will cook?
Liz fumbled over her words while telling Floyd her news. He turned whiter than diapers boiled in bleach.
“Lizzy… Doc said how long?”
“Don’t be pitching a fit with me Floyd Henderson. I’m the one going under the knife remember. I’ve got enough to worry about without trying to consol you. You’re not my first concern right now, not with all I’m about to endure.”
After a quiet meatloaf dinner, Liz and Floyd sat on the porch drinking their evening coffee.
“Sometimes Floyd you get me so frustrated, but you know I love you, don’t you?”
Floyd let out a deep sigh, and then reached for Liz’s hand.
“I’m sorry Lizzy for being insensitive and self-centered. You’d think I’d know better by now, especially after Pastor Dan’s sermon to husbands last week.”
“I know you’re trying sweetie,” Liz chimed in with a nod. “This isn’t going to be easy for either of us. What really gets me is that after so many years of visiting the sick, bringing meals to shut-ins, and doing all I could to minister back home, now in my hour of need, I’m all alone. It just doesn’t seem fair. I planted seed but can’t reap any of it.”
“Lizzy, we left our family and friends for this job, but we didn’t leave the Lord. He’ll take care of us.”
Silently they drank their coffee. Floyd was praying, asking God for words of comfort to share with Liz. She was confessing her fear and anger to God. They sat outside long after the sun went down and the sky darkened. Floyd got up to turn on the porch light. Seeing tears streaming down Liz’s face, he went over and hugged her.
“We’ll get through this Lizzy… and you’ll be fixed up and able to garden again.”
That made Liz smile. “It sure will be nice, won’t it sweetie?”
During the eight hours in the waiting room, Floyd prayed every promise in the Bible, quoted Psalms, and begged God for favor. Finally, Dr. Lee came through the double doors, dressed in surgical scrubs.
“Mr. Henderson, the surgery was successful, Liz did great. She’ll be in recovery for about an hour before you can see her.”
“Thank you Doc, for everything. You really believe she’s going to be okay again?”
“Yes sir, I do, if she stays immobilized. It was a strange experience for me though, I felt like I was watching my hands perform techniques I didn’t know I was capable of doing. Your wife told me you are religious people and that God would be doing the surgery today. Well, she was right about that.”
“Amen!” answered Floyd.
“You realize Mr. Henderson that the tough part now is going to be taking care of her. Did you make any arrangements to get some help?”
“No Doc. We don’t know anyone well enough to ask for help, so I’m leaving it in God’s hands.”
That Sunday, Floyd went to church alone. A woman sitting on his pew asked where his wife was. Floyd simply muttered, “In the hospital,” then sat down to read the bulletin.
Monday afternoon, that same woman went to visit Liz in the hospital. She introduced herself as Donna, giving Liz flowers and a calendar with names written on different dates.
“What’s this?” Liz asked.
“The names in red are women that will bring meals. The names in black are those who will come to clean, do laundry, or run errands. Your husband didn’t say why you were in the hospital, so I had to poke around first. I hope you don’t mind.”
“But you don’t even know me,” Liz whispered as she sobbed. “We haven’t planted any seeds of service at your church yet.”
Smiling, Donna answered, “I know you’re a hurting part of the body of Christ* who needs our gifts of service. You don’t always harvest where you plant Liz. By the way, I didn’t explain that I’m Pastor Dan’s wife. Welcome to our church family.”
“Thank you Lord!” Liz whispered.
*”If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” I Corinthians 12:26 (NIV)
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