There have been two times in my life when prayers I have said have been answered by the Man Upstairs. The first time was when I was a teenager on vacation in Ruidoso, New Mexico. It was our last morning there; my dad had promised we could play one game of putt putt golf before we left. But when we got up that day, it was pouring rain. As we drove to McDonald’s for breakfast, I silently asked God to stop the rain long enough for us to play one game. By the time we finished eating, the rain had stopped. Off we went to play the wettest game of mini golf I have EVER played. It was great!! As we got to the 18th hole, it started to sprinkle. By the time we got to the car, it was pouring. I said a silent thank you to God. It was about 25 years before I told my parents about that prayer (my father is a retired Methodist minister).
The most heartfelt one I have ever prayed was two weeks ago. My 16-year-old son James (my only child) came home from his youth group meeting on Sunday night, ate a sandwich, then went to my room to watch TV. By 9 p.m., he was complaining that his side hurt. Thirty minutes later, he was in agony; he did not want me to touch him. After consulting with my mother and my family doctor, I drove him to the emergency room. Despite the fact that the CAT scan showed his appendix was just above normal, the specialist reading the scan advised the ER doctor to send us home. But the ER doctor did not agree; he was sure James had appendicitis. So at 3 a.m., James was admitted to the hospital to be seen by the surgeon, who came in about nine hours later and decided to take out his appendix that night.
My husband switched places with me so I could go home for a nap before surgery. As I drove back to the hospital, I realized I was very scared for my son. With tears streaming down my face, I asked God to watch over James and let him know that everything was going to be ok, and to give him a sense of peace.
My husband went home, and I sat in the surgical waiting area with our youth director. I told her stories about James growing up (I will share those another time) while we waited. The surgeon came out and told me that the appendix did not look bad, but he did take it out and took some pictures for pathology to look at. He assured me James would be just fine, and for the first time in almost 24 hours, I felt like I could breathe.
I waited for them to bring James back to his room, and was very happy to see him awake as they wheeled him in. He was still a bit groggy, but he told me the most amazing thing: as they prepped him in the operating room, he saw a fourth person standing in the room. But they were not wearing surgical scrubs; he said it looked like the man was wearing robes like they wore in Jesus’ time. James said he felt this sense of peace come over him and he knew that he was going to be alright.
I am sure you can imagine how I felt hearing him say that. We talked about it a few days later. I told him about the prayer I had said for him and what he had told me about the person he had seen in the operating room. We both just looked at each other, not saying anything, but understanding what it all meant.
Who was with him that night in the operating room, I do not know. I have always said that James was a child of God. When he was eight, he said he planned to be a minister like his papa. When we would mention this to people, they would tell me that they could see that in him. He has hit the teenage years, so he is a bit uncertain as to his future, although he says he still wants to do something that involves the church.
All I know is that God was watching over him that night, answering a scared mother’s prayer for her only child.