I clearly remember the ride home after getting my first pair of glasses. We passed an orange grove that, to me, had always been a abstract blur of green trees dripping into a blur of brown soil. But on this day, I could see, not only the individual trees, but even the leaves on the trees. I could see the developing fruit. I could see all the colors of the newly turned soil.
I was entranced. Had such a beautiful world always existed?
As humans, we suffer from a profound form of near-sightedness. The same sin that mars our world blinds us to both the ugliness of evil and the beauty of a holy God. Consequently, we see little of the spiritual world.
I was granted a vision into that world last week and at a time that was especially meaningful to me. My mother had been in and out of the hospital for three long weeks. I’d been watching her slowly grow weaker—wasting away in much the same way I watched my father deteriorate before taking his final rest this August.
Early that day, my mother called me from the hospital to let me know that they were already taking her down for the procedure that would hopefully fix the problem. “So don’t come now,” she said. “I’ll be in the procedure room and then I’ll be asleep from the sedation.” Her advice was logical. But as I hung up the phone, I had a strong feeling that I needed to get right down to the hospital. Not so logical.
When I arrived, she had already been taken to the procedure room. The nurse advised, “If you wait here in her room, the doctor will know where to find you when they’re through.” Again, it was the logical thing to do, especially since neither the nurse nor I knew where the procedure room was located. But, again, something pushed me to go looking for her.
I found my mom right away, but the charge nurse informed me that they had already finished a test and were sending her back to her room.
“No, they can’t!” I said and proceeded to explain about the four previous procedures over the last two weeks, about the trouble they’d had during those procedures, and about what the GI specialist wanted done now before she got any weaker.
“Oh, my,” she said. “I don’t think the radiologist received any of those instructions. Maybe you’d better talk directly to him.” She dialed the procedure room and put me through. In the background, I could hear the sounds of a patient being removed from the room. About two sentences into my explanation the radiologist called “Wait!” to the room’s attendants. When I finished the explanation, he said, “I didn’t get any of this information. Let me see what I can do.”
We hung up, and the radiologist went back to work. That’s when I realized the importance of what had just happened. Only God knew that the crucial information the radiologist needed at that moment had somehow gotten lost in the chain of communication. Of all those praying for my mother that day, only I could have relayed the needed information in a way that was useful to the radiologist.
I was then strongly impressed that, just as the Lord had worked through my “illogical” actions to get the needed procedure done, He now needed me to mobilize more prayer on my mom’s behalf. I texted the various family members to that effect. Then, pulling my Bible out of my purse, I began reading Psalms 102 and 103. Many of the verses seemed spotlighted, as if the Lord were saying, “Here are the promises you need to pray for.” I prayed these verses back to Him again and again.
At one point, a mental image popped into my mind: a doctor was standing over my mother and giving up after some unsuccessful attempts to complete the procedure. He was sending her back to her room—problem unsolved.
“Lord, please intervene,” I prayed. “Please impress him to try again, and guide his hands and his instruments to see this procedure through to a successful conclusion.” I then returned to Psalms 102-103, again praying through the promises.
Finally the radiologist exited the room, a smile on his face. “We did it!” he said, and then described the scene that had played out—how he had tried and failed to carry out the needed procedure. He had just about given up when he decided to try another manipulation. That one worked. As he spoke, I realized it was very similar to the scene that had played out in my head.
As I write this, my mother is home—recuperating well and regaining strength. We were even able to enjoy Thanksgiving together, truly a reason for celebration. But I’m convinced that the outcome would have been different if not for the Lord’s direct intervention. Just for a little while, He handed me a pair of spiritual glasses. He granted me a glimpse of what goes on behind the veil when we pray and follow His guidance. And I thank Him for that glimpse.
But it also makes me wonder: How much more of God’s work would we see in our world—in our lives—if we followed His guidance, or even prayed, more faithfully?
29 Nov 2013 1 Comment
27 Sep 2013 Leave a Comment
That sound you hear is me heaving a big sigh of relief. I sent the “final” version of Keeping the Faith, the second book of the Race trilogy, off to the publisher yesterday. I should hear back within the next few weeks whether they have accepted it … and how many changes I’ll need to make.
For now, it’s on to the third book, Fighting the Good Fight.
09 Jul 2013 Leave a Comment
16 Jan 2013 1 Comment
I’ve just “finished” the second book of the Race trilogy, Finishing the Race! In it, the Damours guide Chris & Susana as they finish graduate school, start careers, and have a family — all while dodging Stan & Camille’s mischief. Copies of the manuscript are have just gone out to my wonderfully long-suffering band of early readers.
When I say the manuscript is finished, I’m kind of crossing my fingers behind my back. In truth, this just means that the book is about as good as I can get it without help. When it comes back from this group of readers, there will be revisions necessary based on their feedback. I also need to make a trip up to Stanford to scope out Chris & Susana’s new home turf; based on that trip, I’ll almost certainly need to make changes to update my mental picture of the area. Then, if the publisher accepts the manuscript, there will be more revisions necessary after their editors review it.
I hear that some authors get discouraged at all the revising that goes into completing a book. For my part, I thank God for the conscientious work of so many people! Particularly in the case of an allegory, it’s scary how easily one can say something she doesn’t mean about the character of God. These are the people who catch the nuanced meanings I never intended.
So, thank you again, long-suffering Early Readers!
02 Jul 2012 Leave a Comment
16 Apr 2012 Leave a Comment
The Kindle edition of The Race: An Allegory has just been made available!
15 Apr 2012 Leave a Comment
Susana’s Diary is now up and running. If you’re interested in the other half of The Race, Susana López’s half, you can follow her progress from the day she signs on for this great adventure (that would be today, April 16).
Check it out right here.