I spent the morning reading. Burying my nose in my books seemed like the best way to keep myself quietly busy. It was my second doctor ordered fast of the week.
“Nothing to eat or drink after midnight,” the nurse kept repeating while she underlined it on the instructions first with a pen and then neon as if emphasizing it once wasn’t enough. I hate yellow highlighters I thought.
I opted for my Bible first before grabbing one of the many other books on my side table. I decided to let the Holy Spirit choose what I was supposed to read by playing Bible roulette. Rolling my thumb across the closed pages like the ball on the wheel it landed on the Gospel of Luke—my oldest son’s namesake.
Chapter nine and the feeding of the five thousand was my appointed reading. I smiled widely at my favorite miracle in the Bible. I assumed it was meant to remind me that God always provides. But as I read through the familiar passages something struck me that I’d never thought of before. Jesus hadn’t just met the crowd’s needs he’d met his apostle’s. Where they felt they lacked the resources to take care of the crowd He intervened and multiplied what little they did have to offer.
From experience I know the same to be true but the heart and the head don’t always wrap themselves around something at the same time. Parched and hungry I needed to hear this. My biggest worry of the day wasn’t what the findings of the tests might mean to me, but to my family. This is the life of a mother. She thinks about her children first.
Hours’ later laying in the surgi-center my head was pounding. It felt like a bowling ball on top of the pillow. When the anesthesiologist came in the room he dimmed the lights, put his hand on my forehead and said, “I’m going to make this go away in a few minutes.”
My doctor was equally as reassuring. “Okay Kären, close your eyes and just enjoy the nice little nap we’re going to give you.” His charming bedside manner was comforting as my eyes closed but then his face was replaced with Luke’s.
He was walking toward me but couldn’t get to me like he was on a treadmill that wouldn’t really move him anywhere. I could see every whisker in his beard. His beautiful long eyelashes kept blinking. He was fighting back tears and calling my name. “Mom where are you? I need you,” he kept saying over and over.
I wanted to get to him but couldn’t. I didn’t have a body that would take me anywhere. My bowling ball head was now weightless. I was crying. “Luke I’m coming,” I answered. But as hard as I tried couldn’t move.
Another voice broke into the conversation. “Kären you’re waking up now. We’re done.”
I could still only see Luke’s face, “Where’s Luke?” I asked.
“Is that your husband?” the nurse asked? “No my son. I need to help him.”
“Karen you’re dreaming.” I heard the anesthesiologist say. “That’s the Propofol.”
“Your husband is on his way in,” the nurse said.
I tried to open my eyes but couldn’t seem to until I heard him enter the room. “Is Luke,” okay I asked.
“As far as I know,” he said puzzled by the question. “Do you want me to call him?”
“No,” I answered beginning to feel silly while I fought back tears.
As the sedation wore off and the world looked a little more normal I asked to go home. I wanted to see for myself everything was okay.
When we walked in the door Buddy greeted me and my hubby called out for Luke. “Hey Luke your Mom needs to see you.”
He came upstairs and said, “Are you okay Mom? I was worried about you. I got home from class and your car was here but you weren’t. I kept calling you and sent you a text but you didn’t answer.”
By this time he could see that I’d been to the surgi-center and back.
“Oh my gosh I didn’t remember that’s where you were going to be. Are you okay? Can I help you with anything?”
“Why don’t you just sit here with your mom,” my hubby said. They both helped me sit down. Now all was right with the world.
He was quiet for a few minutes thinking about what he wanted to say. Finally he spoke.
“Mom I was looking for you and God let you know and you got home to me. Even when you’re sick He always makes a way. It’s all okay. He won’t let us down. You don’t need to worry.”
I looked across the room at the stack of books I’d buried myself in earlier—the biggest standing out from the crowd—my Bible still open to Luke chapter 9. Somebody (probably Chase) had a set a penny on it.
As I drifted off to sleep a deep peace settled over me. God had spoken through his two disciples of the same name. How could I argue with that?