The walls were a muddy gray. Bed sheets stark white against pale, wrinkled skin. Alcohol-pad-smells permeated the room as the man lay there, days without eating but holding hope by the hem.
My 19-year-old self in purple plum scrubs and white vinyl shoes walked in the room, unsure what to say or do or be as I wrapped the blood pressure cuff around a frail arm and quietly counted rise and fall of chest.
His eyes told the story. A twinkle in the corner, a wrinkle of the nose. Toes wiggling, feet waving beneath sheets, he longed to be free.
Free from the foreign four walls. Free from the poking and prodding of needles and the swishing and swallowing of potions to cure.
I'm not sure how or why, but I sang with him.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a Wretch like me....
Eyes closed in reverence, head kept time and hearts beat for Jesus.
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see...
A divine moment. A hospital room becomes the throneroom of grace that holds His whisperings.
And this is why. This is why I am here.
Then today. Today in the room of a lady who has lived 3 times longer than I have and lost her husband at 59, I see the eyes telling the story. A twinkle in the wrinkling of her eyes. A light not of this world softly glowing from her face.
"How do you look so young? What is your secret? You barely look a day older than 60", I ask.
She chuckles. Shakes her head at my naive and blunt question.
"Why, yes, I've heard that before. It's all Jesus. Without Him, what would I be?"
I've never heard this reply before. Usually it's the drinking of wine or smoking cigars or throwing worry to the wind that is the quick reply.
"You know, I always read the 23rd Psalm before I even get out of bed. And I pray with my other doctors at the end of every visit. We pray right in the room together."
"Can we pray together?" I ask, not knowing the divine moment was knocking on that exam room door.
Eyes widen, a smile reaches ear to ear. "Why, yes!!"
The contrast of colors and textures of our hands blend into one as two women clasp hands, generations and vast life experiences cupped between palms as the bond of sisterhood through Him is knit.
"Father God. Father God. Father God"...she starts as a whisper and ends with clarity.
"I thank you for this young lady and her love for You. Cover her with your blood. Cover her and her car transporting her and her family with Your blood as she goes to and fro. Help her to compete in her profession. Give her grace and mercy as she sees these patients. In Jesus' Name...."
Grace and Mercy. It permeates the room.
I ask to pray for her, and the tables are turned as I speak a blessing over a woman who has lived nine decades in this broken world yet still speaks hope.
I leave this room in awe of what has happened. I feel like a legacy has been passed on to me. A legacy of the older woman leading the younger one, with gentle purpose and solely for His Glory.
My mind has knit two experiences together; two different eras and two different selves. Different but the same. This field is ripe with growth. I hope to pass it often, and I hope to plant more seeds.
Thank you for stopping by my memory field, and may His grace and mercy follow you...All the days of your life.