Delayed posting today because I've been running hither and yon for two days straight.
It started Sunday morning with my family's continued search for a church in our new city and just concluded (so to speak) with a three-hour conversation with an Episcopal priest in which he and I realized we counted literally dozens of the same people as friends. During that conversation, I was reminded of a story.
My daughter had a rough start to life, including a sixty day stay in the NICU and open heart surgery before she was five months old. She's fine now – a healthy, happy, and perfectly annoying preschooler. Anyway, way back when, we were sent home from the NICU even though the doctors had yet to repair the hole in her heart. They weren't worried because they thought the hole was “small enough.”
Back home, we had weekly follow-up appointments with our team of cardiologists. One week, I walked in to the appointment to see an older doctor. He had clearly had a stroke and was no longer capable of performing surgery, and in my mind I cringed, effectively saying, “really, are you kidding me?”
Within moments of listening to her heart, he declared that she needed surgery immediately. I asked if he needed to see her charts or cardiograms? He said no and, “you're just going to have to trust me.” We did and our daughter had surgery just a few short weeks later. The surgeon mentioned that the hole in her heart was twice as big as he'd been told to expect and that the old doctor quite literally saved her life.
Three years later, I can't believe how close we came to missing these years with our eldest daughter because I nearly judged a doctor by his age and condition. There are so many lessons I've taken from this one event. Some are obvious; others, less so. But one of the less obvious ones for me came in the gracious response of the doctor. My skepticism was written plainly on my face, but the doctor simply said, “you're just going to have to trust me.” Grace in an unexpected moment. Thank God.
P.S. Recently, as a guest instructor at Howard Payne University, I led a discussion that turned to the topic of guest speakers for youth groups. The consensus was that young, energetic, cool, and charismatic people are often asked to be guest speakers, but that some of the best ministry comes from older, experienced ministers who we may just need to trust. Sometimes, old school, quiet wisdom still resonates with today's youth.