Hope and Faith in Intensive Care
It's American Heart Month. Read Rick Hamlin's inspiring story of how his faith was renewed as he faced open-heart surgery.
John and Tibby prayed for me, right there on the phone. I didn’t try to pray with them. I let go and let their words do the work for me. No, I couldn’t pray for myself—not right now and not during the surgery—but I could depend on all the people who had promised to pray for me. They would keep me connected to God. Just as a machine would do the work of my heart and lungs, I could trust my friends and family to do the work of my soul.
“Amen,” Tibby and John said. “Amen,” I echoed. The technicians were at the door with a gurney, ready to take me to the operating room. The surgery went very well. It was long—I didn’t wake up in intensive care until 2:30 a.m.—and the recovery was hard, but I felt cared for every step of the way. Not just by doctors and nurses, but also by clergy, my family, friends and colleagues. I felt sustained by their prayers.
A year later I’m in good health again. I run, go to the gym, eat carefully and read a few psalms from my battered Bible every morning. And whenever someone says, “Keep me in your prayers,” I take the request very seriously. Prayer can be hard. Sometimes just trying to pray is enough. And sometimes you have to let go and trust others to do it for you.
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