We had been in the medical system for 24 hours when Boy two was finally taken from me to surgery. He was brave but to me he looked so small. Exhausted, hungry, and alone at that point, I hardly knew what I was saying. Something like, “anyone who knows how is required to pray before the surgery,” or words to that effect came shooting out of my mouth as I saw him leaving. “We’ll take good care of him,” they said. That had not been the point, but I was past argument or coherence.
The next morning, the surgeon came by early. Boy two looked good, everything went well, the appendix had been perforated but everything was ship shape now. Instructions. Have a nice day. And he turned to go.
A younger woman with a clipboard at the end of the bed spoke up. “Excuse me, Boy two’s mom, but we just wanted you to know how impressed all of us in the operating room were with your son. He was very brave. And he said the most beautiful prayer.”
Really? My heart felt very happy and I thanked her. A few days later my brain engaged.
How, I asked, was it that you ended up praying out loud in the operating room?
Well, said Boy two matter of fact, they asked if I wanted to say the prayer, so I said sure.
I have been thinking of this with gratitude ever since. I don’t think anyone who heard my spontaneous request felt personally comfortable jumping on the public prayer wagon, but that didn’t stop them from taking care of my son. As far as he is concerned, professionals at hospitals say prayers before surgeries and he would know because before his surgery he didn’t say “a,” prayer, he said, “the,” prayer.
A pretty good example of generosity of spirit, respect for children, and plain old human decency. If God was as impressed as I was, I’m guessing an extra dose of love and mercy are coming their way. I sure hope so.