Saturday, August 20, 2011

Microcosm of Prayer Answers

We pulled off at the first cheap St. Louis gas station to fuel up ($3.159 per gallon looked pretty sweet to me).  I fueled the car while the girls went to the restroom.  When they came back I slipped off to pay my honorary visit to the little room of relief, so I was not there when the call came in to Erin’s phone. 

You see, Erin, Laura and I were on our way to see the neurosurgeon who had cared for Richard.  This trip was to establish Erin as his patient.  You may not have known that in May, 2010, Erin had experienced a grand mal seizure out of the blue. At the time she was referred to the University of Kentucky for medical care.  They discovered a brain tumor that did not appear malignant but was menacing in that it caused seizures.  They had been watching her closely with MRI studies every 3 months.  Since there were no changes they recommended that she go down to 6 months between exams. Moving to Missouri created the need to find a new doctor for follow-up.  Erin had scheduled the appointment a month back while she was still Erin Hay. 

We were only 30 minutes away from the doctor’s office when the call came in. The secretary from the doctor’s office was following up on new information she had discovered the day before – Erin and John do not have insurance.  The secretary told Erin the appointment was cancelled and that given her financial need she should make arrangements to be seen at one of the two teaching medical facilities in St. Louis. Erin took down the numbers and politely bid the secretary good bye. 

We all sat there bewildered.  We had come 1½ hours distance already and only had 30 minutes to go to be at the office. What should we do?

I turned to Erin and asked, “May I call the office back to speak on your behalf?”  

With a soft, near-tears voice, Erin replied, “I guess.”

Erin provided me with the number the call had come from and I was off on the chase.  The hospital computer picked up the call and I waited thought all the “if you want so-and-so, press this number” commands.  At last since none of the choices worked I stayed on the line for the operator.  She transferred me to another operator who finally transferred me to the secretary’s number which went directly into voice mail.  I introduced myself as one calling on behalf of Erin Cook. After stammering around about guaranteeing that today’s visit would be paid for in cash, I stated we were still coming to the appointment. Then I got down to leaving my number, but an ending tone sounded before I had all the numbers spoken.

I turned to Erin and said, “We will just go in and see what happens.”

I pulled back onto the highway.  About three miles down the road Erin’s phone rang.  The secretary was calling back.  Immediately she clarified on Erin’s name and Erin had the opportunity to explain that she had married in the past 2 weeks.  She apologized for not having made her name change clear.  She thought she could take care of that at the office.  The secretary simply stated acknowledgement that she would see us in a few minutes.  We all heaved a sigh of relief.

Once at the office Erin meticulously completed all the paperwork received from the receptionist.  The secretary came to the door to call “Mrs. Cook” in.  As she saw us both stand to enter her face lit up with recognition. 

“So, this is your new daughter-in-law,” the secretary declared.  “Now it all makes sense.”

Our doctor had promised on our last visit that he would be pleased to see our new daughter-in-law when she was indeed in the family and the area. The rest of the visit was sheer blessing.  As we left I was near tears myself as doctor told Erin not to worry about the bill, along with other encouraging words that things will work out. 

Now, what is my point of writing this long tale?  The bottom line is that I learned a HUGE lesson that day – a lesson about prayer, intercessory prayer. 

Prayer and courage go hand in hand.  Intercession, being held up by others, relying on the intervention of others is God’s way of weaving the fiber of His people together. Prayer ignites courage.  We needed to simply pull out on the road and move ahead as we prayed. Praise the Lord for His provision of courage and success and the future of hope.  

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