5 hours ago, I was sitting in Naperville Illinois on the phone with a receptionist from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. In the background, I heard the sounds of fire department members from CR as they worked to stabilize Nathan, our oldest son. Nathan was at school working outside when he felt chest pains, shortness of breath and radiating pain down his left arm. All this I heard on the line.
I listened as they asked him questions, and more importantly, I listened as he responded, weakly. As every possible scenario was running through my mind, all I could think about was how quickly I could get to CR from Naperville.
I then spoke to the FD captain who assured me that the EKG he was on looked good and it was likely an anxiety attack of some sort, but they were transporting him via ambulance to St Luke’s in CR to be sure.
Leaving, I went home to talk to Anne, as her cell phone was in my car.
Walked into the house, upstairs and asked her to sit on the bed. I was at a loss for words so all I could say was, “Someone called from Kirkwood, and Nathan is ok.” We both got more anxious but I was able to share what I knew. By 11:15, I was in the car, driving.
A bit later, Nate called me. He has pulled a muscle in his chest; when he was shoveling at school today, the muscle was irritated and hurting, which caused the shortness of breath, which led to hyperventilating, which led to me listening in to what sounded like my son being kept alive by the hard work of medical workers more than 4 hours away. Maddening. Scary. Possibly the most helpless feeling ever because at least I was sitting in the same zip code with my wife as they pulled a cancerous tumor from her and them pumped her body with poison and zapped radiation at her for 8 months.
God’s got a plan. He’s always got a plan.
So, as I sit in the Starbucks on Collins Road in Cedar Rapids waiting for my son to get out of class so that I can hug him and tell him how much I love him and am glad that he’s ok, I’ll rest in the knowledge that when Jesus says, “Peace! Be still.”- the world stops and rests in the anticipation of when all of the possibilities of death and destruction, be they weapons of war, car accidents, errant cells or simple overuse and stress and strain…that all goes away.
Because God Always Does.