I sat in a hospital waiting room recently, awaiting news from the OR while a friend was in surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Over the hours I watched as two others waited nervously on the other side of the room for news of a loved one in another operating room. As time passed, other family members of theirs began to arrive, and it was clear that this surgery had not been planned. This was an emergency, and we soon learned that the father and patriarch of a large family had been hit by a car as he walked across the street that morning.
“Lord, we are asking You to send an angel next door to the OR. We need an angel to whisper to this dear man’s spirit and let him know that his family is right next door praying for him. Let him know that his daughter is here, and that she loves him very much. Lord, please, whatever happens in that operating room, let him live or die today safe in your arms and knowing that his little girl loves him. Please don’t let him die, Lord, until he gets that message.”
It soon became horribly apparent that his injuries would in fact be fatal, and shock, despair, and deep, deep sorrow filled the room. One daughter fell to her knees and repeatedly sobbed the words “I’m going to lose my dad! Oh, my God, I’m going to lose my dad!”
Everyone else in the room was so stunned and paralyzed by their own pain that they were unable even to speak as she wept uncontrollably on the floor. I took a deep breath, stood up and walked over to her, knelt down and put my arms around her.
“He was just walking across the street! What am I going to do? What am I going to do?”
I took her by the shoulders and looked into her eyes and said as firmly as I could “I don’t know what is going to happen to your dad. But you are going to be okay.”
She shook her head and began to cry again. “No, I was a terrible daughter. I never told him that I loved him. He doesn’t know I love him. And now it’s too late.”
“I’m going to pray for him right now. Will you pray with me?”
She nodded and I prayed. I am a specific pray-er. I believe what the Bible says when it tells us that Jesus’ sacrifice has made it possible for us to come boldly before the throne of God and ask anything of Him. I believe in miracles, but I felt led that day to pray not for physical healing but for spiritual and emotional healing.
There was suddenly a profound energy in the room and a resulting peace that I can only believe was a confirmation that our prayer had been received and answered. She hugged me and thanked me and not long after that, the family was called out into a grief counseling room. They never returned to the waiting room. The waiting was over.
I waited for news of my own friend in surgery. I sat back and sighed in gratitude, remembering that I hadn’t forgotten that morning to tell him that I loved him.