How Much Faith Life Demands

I can’t eat supper or even drink any liquids this evening because I will undergo surgery for removal of plaque from my right carotid artery at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, October 12, 2010.  That is serious surgery.  My vascular surgeon says that there is only 2% risk of failure, but I know that the delicacy of an operation on a vessel that supplies blood to my brain doesn’t leave much room for even a small miscalculation or error.  What it has caused me to think about fourteen hours from the surgery is how much faith, pure naked trust, human life demands.

I don’t know Dr. Klamer, the surgeon.  Oh, I’ve met him and liked the straightforward way he spoke.  He and his associate gave me clear information about what is going to happen.  But I’m trusting my personal physician’s recommendation of a colleague in the same hospital, and I’m trusting the hospital and the whole medical community in the city of Louisville, which has an excellent reputation. Is that enough given the desperate need I have for the surgery?

I don’t think so, at least not for me.  Something as serious as this, however needful, forces me to find within myself a deeper level of faith than I find in medical savvy and institutional reputation. I need God, beyond in our midst.  I’m at peace about this because I’ve learned how to let myself down like a swimmer letting down to trust the buoyancy of the water.  The saints through the ages remind me that we live in a sea of love and if I will let myself down into its waters, the waters of grace will hold me up.  I’ve lived a long and grace-filled life.  Should I end up among the 2%, I can only say thanks for this inexpressible gift of life that has been mine.

Update: I can now give a positive report.  The surgery went well, although it left me with a row of staples across my neck on the right side.  The surgeon will remove them in two weeks.  I feel much gratitude, however, to know that the risk of stroke is gone.

2 Responses to “How Much Faith Life Demands”

  1. Alice Godbold says:

    Glad the results were good! I know what you mean about faith. I blindly trusted a doctor to perform an endoscopy and he punctured my esophagus, back in 2007. Emergency surgery saved my life, but Jesus restored my faith and gave me peace about living with diminished health. Now I face bladder cancer surgery and vascular testing, but I go forward with great faith and peace. God is with me, whatever the outcome. I am so blessed.

  2. jo says:

    Praise the Lord! Thanks for sharing. Reminded me of an incident and could relate some.

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