Grey’s Anatomy, imaginary diners and how I found faith to survive what I could not control




This is how my fantasy begins.

I’m sitting at a Formica table in a small diner. Just as I take a bite of French Toast, a man walks by and collapses on the floor.

“Is there a doctor in the place?” a waitress calls out.

No one responds.

This guy is going to bite the bullet, I think to myself. He is going to kick the bucket. Buy the farm.

Suddenly, I realize my years of watching ER reruns and Grey’s anatomy episodes were not in vain.

I push back my plate and stand up.

“Probe his chest,” I yell to the waitress as I run over and kneel beside man, “Does he feel bloated?”

She nods.

“It’s a tension pneumothorax,” I snap, “Get me a sharp paring knife and a bottle of Vodka.”

There is no time to waste. Air is escaping out of the lungs into man’s chest. I use the paring knife to make a small hole between two ribs. Then, I insert the pourer from the Vodka bottle into the opening so that the air can escape.

The man takes a deep breath and opens his eyes.

In my fantasy, I’m a hero.

In real life, not so much.

Last year, one of my kids had to catch an overseas flight. I knew the trip would be a challenge. Without a doubt, there were going to be tough times ahead.

My husband and I drove him to the airport. After he disappeared into the terminal, I sat in the van and sobbed.

For the next few weeks, a restless feeling churned in the pit of my stomach. It finally eased when

  1. I stopped fixating on the situation and gave my son space. Not an easy task since every atom in my body yearned to grab the situation and manipulate it to somehow make everything come out the way I thought it should be.
  2. I prayed. Deep fears and doubts poured out of my heart like water over the rim of a plugged up toilet. God did not flinch at the overflow.
  3. I chose to believe.  After all the sermons I had heard through the years, all the theological debates and discussions I had participated in, it was time to live out the truth in my life.

Trusting is not easy. Faith is no picnic. It takes courage and transparency to hang on.

Even the disciples, who hung out with Jesus every day, went through hard times. The more popular Jesus became, the more people came out to see him. Crowds got restless. Men, women and children pushed and shoved to get close to the latest teaching sensation.

One time, it seemed that the situation was about to get out of control. The disciples figured that Jesus would finally say, “Enough is enough. Settle down or the show’s over.”

Instead, he turned to his disciples and talked to them as if nobody else was around.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?” he said, “Yet not one of them is forgotten by God”.

In the middle of chaos, the disciples needed to understand this truth as well as many others. In just a short time Jesus, would be taken from them. Nothing that they could do would change the situation.

The disciples had to back off of foolish heroics. There was no choice but to pray and believe that God cared. God had not forgotten them.

Have you seen God’s faithfulness in your life?

Maybe you are in a situation over which you have no control. Maybe you feel that God has forgotten you.

Tell me about it.

And remember, you are not alone.

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