By Stephen A. Peterson
While driving across the Mississippi River on the way to Indiana, the radio broadcaster cautioned everyone on the road to shelter themselves from the coming ice storm. As predicted, the rains began. The closest shelter was St. Jude’s Hospital. I thought, “O well! It’s as good as any.” Hospital personnel welcomed all visitors.
Sitting in a waiting room was a young woman alone with a worried look on her face.
“Merry Christmas!” I said.
“Yes, thank you!” she responded.
“Why are you here?”
“My son is here in this hospital. He is in intensive care. He is dying. He may not make it through the night.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I immediately responded. “I know this may seem insensitive but I would like to say a prayer for him.”
“No, no! That’s alright. I just came out to get a breath of air. It’s so hard to watch your baby die. So I had to come out for a little bit.”
My prayer with this young mother was short lasting about a minute or so. At the conclusion of the prayer, she returned to her child’s room.
The next day the weather cleared and the roads in and out of Memphis were declared safe for travel. As I was preparing to leave, the mother found me with some joyous news. Her son rallied in the night and his condition had stabilized. She invited me into his room. When I walked into his room, he batted his eyes and managed a feeble, “Thank you, sir!”
I silently thank God and his mother for allowing me the opportunity to meet the young man and gave him an “ATTA BOY” card for his tenacity. We all said our good-byes. We did not meet again. I later learned that he lived an additional two and half years before his death. His mother indicated her thankfulness for the extra time her son God had granted her.
During Christmas, as we begin our celebration of the birth and life of Christ among us, let us remember the gifts of our family given and give thanks for them. I pray that every family with person with health issues requiring hospitalization experience their miracle whatever the Lord desires to grant them, and that they understand their miracle.