I sat in those uncomfortable yet familiar hospital seats last night. This chair was at the side of my wife’s bed.
The day began like any other. I was awake at 5 reading, drinking coffee, and greeting the dawn. I began getting ready to leave to pass out Christmas meals to families in need. Steph was hurting and its intensity was unusual for her. Long story short I stayed home & we walked through a scary painful morning. If I had left earlier or she started hurting later the outcome could have been much different. We got to the ER did tests, lots of waiting, planned a surgery, more waiting, moved to the baby floor (just as we were leaving and sneaking me upstairs…thanks Covid protocols… a friend brought food & I was given permission to leave and reenter the ER thanks Covid again), more waiting, went to pre op, and then I was escorted back to the baby floor to wait.
Despite random calls and carts going through the halls I have always found hospitals eeirly quiet at night. This time was no different. I sat on the uncomfortable yet familiar couch with my old friend hospital anxiety. I couldn’t rest. I couldn’t pay attention to YouTube videos. I scrolled through Facebook catching up and I enjoyed seeing pictures of baby Emma our friends Kristin and Travis new little baby! Then I started to listen to the coos and cries of all the cute little babies all around me. I really wanted to go room to room and hold them all. One day when I am an old man (so it is less creepy) I am going to see if you can volunteer at the hospital to hold babies. I could see through the slightly ajar door swaddled babies being wheeled from place to place.
My mind flashed to another swaddled baby from long ago. I had read the words of Psalm 23 earlier (which for me is a centering praying, it is like a filter I run life’s experiences through). Now I turned to Matthew and Luke reading the first few chapters. The coos and cries of that cute little baby swaddled. Strangers visiting perhaps holding this small bundle of life. Looking into his face, a face they had never seen, but was more familiar of a sight than their own reflection. Because in the baby’s face was Creator, Savior, the Father, Hope and Peace. Emmanuel God with us!
Then I fell asleep. The doctor woke me up and shared the surgery report, all went well. Each day light dawns reminding us that there are new mercies and hope is coming. But also each day night falls which heralds the promise that rest is coming, a forever peace. A peace personified by a warm cooing swaddled baby Jesus. Merry Christmas!
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