My older brother Doug is fighting for his life in a Florida hospital. Two weeks ago, he was a healthy 65-year-old, that was before a vicious bacterial infection declared war on his body. He’s tethered to more tubes than my mind can untangle – two surgeries in less than a week, and his drug-induced sleep has gone on for nearly as long.
Emails and texts from people around the country have been a God-thing for his wife Rachel and their four adult children. Entries on www.carepages.com appear by the hundreds. Prayers for healing, miracles, and recovery abound, many include snippets and whole paragraphs of scripture reminding us of divine faithfulness and prayer’s power.
Before I caught a plane back to Michigan today, I returned to the ICU at Holmes Medical Center in Melbourne and placed a card on my brother’s chest, told him to keep the light on for me because I will return, and kissed him goodbye.
I share my note not to suggest I have my theology all figured out, but to confess the struggle I experience . . .
I woke up at 2 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I found a Walgreens and bought this card. Hundreds of people are praying for you, and I’m among those at the front of the line. I’m sitting at a Dunkin Donuts crying my eyes out. Like everybody, I’m praying for your healing and recovery. Even though parts of your body look like a war zone, your life is too sweet to leave. My prayer is for you to stay.
But I can’t help wondering what your active mind is thinking, what you in your deep sleep are seeing. Maybe you’re headed down a trail to something glorious, to that place where the trees grow taller, and the air is clearer, and a faithful God is saying, “Come to me and I will give you rest.”
Should my prayer be, “Stay if you can” or “Go into those arms if you must”?
I’m not about to tell God what to do, nor you. So, my prayer is that whatever you’re seeing, feeling, beholding, and experiencing, you will receive your heart’s desire.
I’m going to hedge my bet and keep my tennis racket strung tight and that new can of Wilson yellow balls in the closet in the hope that we will invade the courts at the corner of Hall and Breton to see who cramps up first.
Thanks for being my best brother, my best man, and my best friend. I love you always!