October is the month for scary moments. Halloween is next week and that means there should be a Friday the 13th marathon on AMC or TNT coming up. I enjoy a good scare most of the time. One of my favorite stories of our early marriage is how Marcia scared the liver out of me one night when I came home from work. We lived in a trailer at the time - laid out with the master bedroom at the back and a second bedroom and a bath off a long, narrow hallway. As I walked back, thinking Marcia was in the back bedroom, she jumped out of the darkened bath and "booed" me. I fell with my back against the wall and just melted down to the floor. It was a good scare.
Many of you know that we just passed through another scare and this one wasn't so good. Just before Memorial Day, Marcia ended up in ER with an inflamed ankle. They were pretty sure it was cellulitis. Further tests ensued including a CAT scan of her kidneys. The kidneys were clear but they found some cloudiness in her left lung.
As we continued pursuing what was going on, it got a bit scary. The doctors were pretty sure it was something called sarcoidosis but they needed to eliminate lung cancer as a possibility. To do so meant doing a lung biopsy which would mean being in the hospital for several days and off work for up to 6 weeks. That right there raised our levels of concern and when they started pushing things ahead very quickly, we got even more concerned.
Marcia had the procedure last Wednesday (which is why there has been a significant hole in my blogosphere). The preliminary diagnosis is that we are in the clear on the cancer issue and it is 99% sure sarcoidosis. It is treatable and, since she is currently symptom free, bears watching and that is all. She is home and recovering fairly well. Her pain is fairly well managed and she is getting stronger everyday.
Through all of this we have experienced what other people of faith often express - there is a wonderful peace - even in the midst of scary times. Two Sundays ago I was scheduled to speak on the place of suffering in the believer’s life. That message was planned long before we knew that three days later, Marcia would be undergoing major surgery. It gave a whole different perspective on the words I spoke, and while some of them were delivered in faith, I believed every one of them. We also sang the Chris Redman song, "Blessed be the Name" which contains the lyric: "Every blessing you pour out, I turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in, Lord, Still I will say...Blessed be the name of the Lord"
Thankfully, we will never know how we would have responded had the outcome been different. What we do know is that in the midst of uncertainty, we experience present peace. And still do ... What an amazing gift.
And - thanks to all who have been praying for/with us...it has made all the difference.