The perfect roommate calmed her fears.
- Posted on Jan 29, 2018
Sterile white all around, seeming to close in on me. The hum of the machine. My third MRI in just about as many days. I felt myself panicking. Our Father, Who art in heaven...
It had all happened so fast. One minute I’d been in my kitchen cooking a ham. The next I had slipped on a bit of grease and fallen hard. Neighbors called an ambulance. Doctors operated on my dislocated hip. After I woke up, one of my feet was numb; doctors diagnosed nerve damage. The hospital staff did test after test to find the source and see what they could do to help me, if anything.
Lying on my back in the machine, trying not to move, I felt my thoughts swirl. How bad was it? Would I need surgery? Was my cat okay with the neighbors? How would I get groceries? Walk up the stairs to my apartment? Take care of myself?
I forced myself to stop thinking about the “what ifs” and concentrated on the familiar words instead: Our Father, Who art in heaven...
Counting and singing to myself didn’t work. Reciting prayers had turned out to be the one thing that calmed me down during these tests. It was like meditating.
Trouble was, I didn’t have too many prayers memorized. I’d already run through the Our Father and Hail Mary hundreds of times. I wish I could remember that one I like so much, I thought. I recalled the first few words:We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty... But what came after that? It was just one more thing beyond my abilities right now. I needed a prayer to remember the prayer!
When the MRI was over, I was taken to a new room. An older lady was already seated in the bed next to mine. My new roommate.
“Nice to see you, Sister,” the nurse greeted her as she wheeled me in.
Sister? Turned out, my new roommate was a nun, one of the Sisters of Mercy. I introduced myself and then said, “You don’t happen to know the prayer that begins ‘We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty...’”
“The Nicene Creed—of course,” she replied. Then she handed me a little card with the prayer printed on it in its entirety. God had gotten me what I needed. He’d answered a prayer with a prayer.
Did you enjoy this story? Subscribe to Guideposts magazine.