Saturday, October 11, 2014
Thanks Giving—Carolyn R. Wilker
When was the last time you were told to give thanks? Could you do it when you’re going through some challenging times?
I’ve struggled with this countless times, because, being human, I can always think of the negative and struggle to find the positive. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, I read, “Rejoice always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances.” I struggle with that, even when there’s good stuff happening in the middle of overwhelming tension, and I anticipate and await the outcome or the next big thing, just as in our recent experience.
Recently, my husband had surgery in Toronto. It’s not my favourite place to drive. There are so many cars and people to watch for. Streetcars picking up and letting off passengers. Construction and too many one-way streets. Driving in a city often does make it more familiar, not that I want to do it frequently. Then the interweaving of highways to get there that my husband calls ‘spaghetti junctions.’ He couldn’t have phrased it better.
One needs to have wits about them to drive there. A carefully programmed GPS helps a great deal. My head filled with directions and I still had to pay heed to everything around me. Focus, focus. It’s just like my mother often said of parenting young children, “You need eyes in the back of your head.” I agree.
We made it, with the help of our GPS, Matilda, and my husband checked in for his surgery the next morning, with me there holding the bag of items he would need after surgery. The wait during surgery seemed long, and fortunately, with no undue surprises—always longer because it’s waiting time. And it’s not just the bag of stuff I was carrying; it was also the collection of hopes and concerns of how the surgery would help.
Post-surgery, my husband faced discomfort of grafts, stitches and swelling, and for me, it included anticipating the healing and the arms-length of instructions and details for recovery—read, high maintenance—for the next week.
Having made it through the surgery, two drives there and back in a short week and a half, and in spite of anxiety, there were good things: plenty of prayers, my trusty GPS to guide me safely through the maze of highways that surprisingly was now becoming more familiar, not meaning I want to drive it often.
Because this is Thanksgiving weekend, I will offer my thanks in the middle of all this commotion and the medical procedures.
For a large hospital, with a solid record
For medical specialists, whose education is used to heal and help, and the assurance that we’re in the best of hands
For nurses with a sense of humour as they go about their work
For the taxi driver who cared about what’s happened in my day
For the bed and breakfast owner who cared about our journey and provided a hearty breakfast for me
For a safe place to lay my head at night, even when my sleep is restless
For conversation with others who are also waiting while a loved one is in surgery
For such things as a GPS that helps us to get safely from one place to another
For a progressing recovery and antibiotics that support healing
For innovations that help patients to better handle conditions
And here I give thanks for the gifts God gives to us: friends and family, grace, forgiveness and the chance to start over each new day because of our hope in Jesus, our Saviour.
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, or at least a grateful one in whatever you face today.
Carolyn R. Wilker, editor, storyteller and author of Once Upon a Sandbox
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