Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (ESV)
The alarm went off at 4:00AM. I had to get up and take one more Hiba cleanse shower to make sure there were no hitch hiking germs on me before my total right knee replacement at 7:30AM. Clean body, clean hair, no makeup (yikes), fresh pedicure thanks to my sweet niece Hope who came to my house and lovingly washed my feet paying careful attention to my broken toe. As she was drying my feet she remarked that Jesus had done this very thing for His disciples which gave both of us immediate goose bumps! We had a “moment”. Making sure I didnt by rote make coffee we headed to the hospital following directions of no food or drink after midnight.
April 15, 2013 my left knee had been replaced so I knew what was coming, or so I thought. Total knee replacement is a major surgery. According to my orthopedist (who, I might add, is the finest in the nation), it is the most difficult and painful of all of the joint replacements. The key is to do your physical therapy religiously and you will be very successful. That was the story with my left knee.
From the moment we walked in to the lobby I felt ill at ease. I knew there were many people praying for me. Even my sweet friend Mary Louise who I had visited in the skilled nursing facility had prayed for me. She had her knees replaced in the 80’s and she was still walking strong! Nevertheless I could not shake that feeling. Everyone we came in contact with was very pleasant and professional. Steve & I were having the “Sharp Experience”, so says the commercials on TV.
Next stop for me was pre-op. Steve had to wait in the lobby and as I kissed him goodbye I started to cry. Have you ever had emotion come on you so strong in weird times that you wonder from where it came? I was embarrassed but couldn’t stop the tears. It wasn’t a boo hoo Steele Magnolias cry just a gentle “tears in my eyes” weeping. Like I said, it was strange.
Getting me settled in the pre-op area my nurse asked me all of the required questions and told me my weight in kilograms. I can’t calculate kilos in to pounds so I felt pretty light hearted about the number! I told her about the broken toe on my left foot so she took a sock and made a sign that said “Broken Toe Do Not Touch” and taped it on to my foot should anyone feel a need to pull on my toes. Very clever on her part I might add. As we talked about her job, my job and life in general I asked her if she was a Christian and she said yes. We found out that we went to similar churches, had friends in common and were about the same age. God puts people in our path to comfort and soothe us. My tears were still flowing but I knew I was in good hands.
Ready, prepped, IV in place, funky shower cap thing on my head they wheeled me in to the OR. A lovely lady came over and touched my shoulder. Immediately I felt a warm sensation flow through my body. I could not explain it. I could only see her beautiful brown eyes as she was covered in surgical gear. Since I would be getting a spinal for the surgery I was fully aware of my surroundings. They had not given me any IV drugs yet. Tears streamed out of the corners of my eyes. I could not shake that of dread.
As the surgical team was talking over by the rows of tools to be used for my procedure Marie looked directly in my eyes. There was just something so soothing about her that I asked if she was a Christian. She said yes and I told her I was too. She grabbed my hand right then and there and prayed for me, the doctors, nurses, machinery, my family, and my emotions. Her prayer permeated my heart, soul and spirit. I felt the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit and sensed angels all over that operating room. Her prayer was powerful. I will never forget her kind gentle eyes and meaningful touch. Ending the prayer in the mighty name if Jesus I knew that she was sent by God to be there just for me. All of the apprehension left me. My body totally relaxed; my mind was at ease. You see Marie was a substitute nurse that day. This wasn’t her regular shift. She was on assignment to be there for me, I just knew it. Was she an angel? In my book she was. Oh certainly she was not one of the angelic beings created by God but she surely held angelic qualities.
We never know when God will place people in our lives to bring us comfort when we need it. Showing hospitality is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Opening our homes, our hearts and our lives to others in hospitality is precious in God’s sight. I was in Marie’s “house” of sorts. I was in the OR where she was working. She opened her heart to me in hospitality. She was my “angel” used by God to give me peace. I was a stranger to her and she took the initiative to pray with me in the presence of doctors and nurses. My prayer is that this angel in surgical scrubs named Marie will experience the same comfort that she gave me. Tears gone, heart beat slowing, body relaxed, mind focused on God I was ready for a new knee. Thanking God for Marie I went to sleep. ️
Good Morning Beloved