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Faces In the Waiting Room

The waiting room is a difficult place of being. I recently waited 23 hours in a waiting room while my husband, David, was in a surgery that was suppose to last 10-12 hours. I was patient the first 12 hours I think, and the faces of strangers became familiar as I knew they could relate to what I was feeling. I didn’t know them, yet still their faces seemed like those of a reunion I was in. A reunion of those waiting on a loved one. A reunion of people whose faces were personally numb from fear. Every 2.5-3 hours they would call with an update that was the same, “We are still working on the tumor and can’t give an idea of an end time yet.” After 14 hours of hearing this, as everyone else who was waiting left, and as it became the next day, my patience wore thin. In the early hours of the morning I started to cry out to God begging him to please help with whatever was happening. I then started saying out loud, “David come back to me please!” When have I felt like I was being put in time out like this before? It felt like being told to sit and suffer quietly. I began to feel guilty that I wanted so badly just to stretch my legs out for a few minutes. Everything in my body started hurting on the outside while this empty pain started eating me alive from the inside out. The fear of losing him and thought of never seeing his face on Earth again was unbearable. The faces of my new friends left me one by one until their were none. When have I felt this way before?

When I got the call that my daughter had been ran over I felt it then. I didn’t know by what and assumed an 18 wheeler. It was a motorcycle. The relief I felt when I saw her smiling face even though her ear hung off her head and her collar bone stood straight up.

When my grandmother fell down the stairs was another time. I held her in the Emergency Room while blood poured down her body and they stapled her head back together. Her face calm as it had been every day of my life.

Many years ago, I remember feeling time stood still when my daughter told me my son was hanging from the swing set and I looked outside to see him dangling from it and lifeless. It seemed I was on a time warp as I ran to him and lifted him up and see that he was hanging from his pants that got caught on the swing. His face of giggles was music to my soul because I thought it would be lifeless.

The other waiting room that comes to mind was when we were in the basement and felt the tornadic circular winds surround us and start to encircle us and destroy our home. When outside that early morning, my daughter called my mom and said “Nana, we’ve been hit by a tornado, we’ve lost everything” and I said “We can do this (sweeping my hand toward the rubble that was our home). We’ve got each other and we’ve got Jesus.” I am told I then raised my arms and sang a praise song to God. I don’t remember. I know I pictured the sweet face of my Savior.

When I saw my husbands face after those 23 hours of waiting, everything about me calmed and sweet relief came once more. When my face touched his again I felt life pour back into my body. I will never forget how precious his face looked.

What I’ve learned from this is that there will be times in life when I can’t even feel my own face and I’m in a waiting room that feels like being suspended into the unknown and floating aimlessly, there is a face that I seek. A face of complete peace. The face of Jesus.

Kim Crawford Meeks

5.1.19, one month after

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