Monday, November 24, 2014


Continuing excerpts from Chapter "Are we having fun yet?" from  Leona's book "HOSPITAL GOWNS DON'T HAVE POCKETS."
(I dedicate this selection to a number of my friends who will be going through a surgical adventure in the days ahead.)

I vaguely remember the brilliance of the overhead lights in the O.R. illuminating my motionless body strapped to the cold surgical table. The preparatory booklet for this surgical adventure said I might be aware of a clean smell, soft music, and people talking. Wait a minute! That could also describe heaven!

The medication in my veins floats me into total unconsciousness. For a fleeting moment I realize just how complete is my surrender to the procedures and the strangers who hold my life in their hands. Sounds recede. Faces blur, then disappear. I've slipped into neutral darkness where I have no dreams, no visions. I am suspended in nothingness without feelings. I'm unaware of what is being done to my human body.

Now I understand more fully what complete surrender to God means. My life is committed to the hands of my chief surgeon and his team. I'm at the mercy of their education, skill, experience, alertness, and judgment. Perhaps they are affected by what they had for breakfast and whether or not they are getting along with their spouses or significant others. They are only human beings like me. Although highly competent, they are fallible mortals!

I wouldn't trust them if I were not sure that I had angelic security guards who answer to the Great Physician. I'm counting on them to keep their eyes on those operators wearing scrubs who were arguing about last night's football game as they approached my gurney. But ultimately I have trusted myself to my infallible, almighty, all-knowing, totally loving, all-wise Creator God. He holds the keys to life and death, heaven and hell. He holds my life-breath in His hands.

They call the O.R. An “Operating Theater” for good reason—everyone gathers around to see the main attraction—me! The place is like an amphitheater, an arena, a stage. I'm exposed, displayed, on exhibit. It's a good thing that I'm totally “out to lunch.” I would be so embarrassed if I were aware of lying here so undignified, only partially covered. 

I do wear an unfashionable surgical “designer” cap, but I also wear a crown! In fact, it's a double crown. “He crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion” (Psalm 103:4). Other translations say that “to crown” means to beautify or dignify. I need that for sure! “Lovingkindness” is steadfast love, unfailing love, God's love. “Compassion” is also translated as tender mercies. I'm asking for a heaping portion of both of the above from the generous hand of my loving Lord! The surgical team, the medical technicians, the whole “crowd of witnesses” that “encompass me round about” don't see any crowns on my head, but I claim them, since God promised them. I know they are visible to Him.

My friends have been praying that my surgeon will be the proxy hands of God, an instrument to accomplish God's purpose for me. How thankful I am that he too is a child of God, a praying man! An author unknown penned the following words:

A Surgeon's Prayer
“Dear God:
These strong gloved fingers which I flex—this human hand which holds the knife, sterile now and steady, needs Thy guiding skill to help another's life. Put Thy hand on my hand. Bless now this patient—Thine and mine—who, under Thee, entrusts to me his precious life. God of the surgeon's tireless strength, the surgeon's finite skill, grant that I may guided be to do Thy will. Amen.”

I pray my own prayer in my deep unconscious state: 
“O continue Thy lovingkindness to those who know Thee, and Thy righteousness to the upright in heart” (Psalm 3:10). Lord, I'm not upright in body because I'm horizontal on the O.R. table. But my heart is upright toward You. I ask that You continue Your lovingkindness, prolong it, stretch it out, keep it going, lengthen it. I need Your intensive care here in the O.R. in this my hour of need. The crowns that You've given me may become a little lopsided during the long hours of surgery, but please see to it that my crowns don't fall off.”

(See below to order this book at the discount price during November.)

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