Lately Jesus has been inviting me to hold his hand as we walk through life together. That reminds me of something that happened when Heidi was born. She was delivered as planned by caesarean section a week before the due date. Since I had been working as a nurse in the hospital where she was to be born, I knew all the medical staff and got to hand-pick the operating room team. The anaesthetist I chose to give me the epidural was especially proficient but had a cold bed-side manner.
April 18, 1985, I lay on the operating room table draped and prepped with antiseptic. As soon as the anaesthetist determined I had no feeling in the lower part of my body, the surgeon made the incision. A few minutes later the general practitioner brought Heidi into the world, joyfully announcing, “It’s a girl!”
A girl! I heard her beautiful cry and imagined her wet, wrinkly body. Finally, the nurse let me see Heidi all wrapped up and perfect. Then she was taken out to Fred, who was anxiously waiting in the hall.
Meanwhile, I was stuck in the operating room with an IV in one arm, a blood pressure cuff around the other, and the surgical team hovering over the open wound in my abdomen. The tedious process of closing me up and the drugs in my body made me restless. I kept wanting to turn onto my side, but knew I couldn’t. A tempest of jittery energy was trapped in my body.
I knew that if someone held my hand, I’d be okay. But who would do that? The doctors and nurses were busy. The one hand available belonged to the anaesthetist who sat idly by watching the drip.
No. Not him.
But the restlessness wouldn’t abate. I looked up and said, “Would you hold my hand?”
He looked back quizzically. “Why?”
Peace returned and rest and wonder.
I think about that memory and wonder why Jesus has brought it to mind.
What new birth are you bracing me for, God? What needs settling? I ask as I nervously reach for the hand that stilled the storm.
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves,
“Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it
was completely calm. – Mark 4:39