Surgery . . . Psalms

by Kristen

I keep landing in Psalms. I think it’s because people keep going into surgery. Cancer surgery. Heart surgery. Orthopedic surgery. Surgery to fix surgery.

I get antsy. Especially if I’m not at the hospital. I’m calmer if I’m sitting in a waiting room; as if my body and mind understand how to be still and patient because the room is labelled. If I’m not there, I’m a jangle of haywire nerves. I pinball from prayer fragments to overwrought “what ifs” and “why hasn’t anyone called/texted/emailed news yet” . . . even before the surgery starts. My nerves have not learned to tell time.

So I turn to the Psalms. I start with the ones I remember my mom reading to me in the hospital after my appendectomy. It’s one of my clearer post-surgery memories. She brought my dusty rose, bonded leather Student Bible and found Psalms 62 and 63 completely highlighted. She assumed they were favorites. I don’t know if she read them once or twenty times. I don’t know what else she read to me. But those I remember.

I start there. My soul murmurs its assent to the familiar words. David’s poetry becomes my plea. Not because it’s true of me but because, oh, how I want it to be.

In the face of uncertainty I need the imagery of an artist to paint pictures of a mighty God over my fear-laced imaginings of worst case scenarios.

As another operation looms for another one I love my Bible is splayed open. Heart-deep in bedrock truth and prayers for mercy my soul rests in the wisdom of One who loves my people—His people—with a love greater than the greatest art can ever capture.

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