Our friends Joe and Connie have literally stared death in the face and said, “no!” Connie wasn’t feeling well last week and they decided to take her to the Urgent Care. They were in the garage about to get in the car to go when Connie passed out into Joe’s arms and he could tell right away that she had stopped breathing. Their teenage daughter called 911 as Joe literally cried out to Jesus to save his wife began CPR (which he didn’t think he knew as he’s never been trained but apparently picked up on pretty quick). Connie began to show signs of life as Joe literally breathed life into his bride.
Connie is in the hospital right now, doing much better after they found that she had a blood clot break loose and get lodged in her lung. In fact, they found more than one blood clot in her lungs and have begun medication to resolve the matter along with tests to ensure that there are not other issues remaining. They have a follow-up look at her heart scheduled for today to rule out any possible abnormality there. Throughout it all, they have gone through the normal roller coaster of emotions; fear, anxiety, thanks, love, hope and many more. They battle through any of the negative emotions to find Courage that tells them to rest where it makes no sense to rest. They are reminded that the tests and percentages are not the final Arbiter of the outcome and they declare Life in Abundance despite the blips of the machines and restraints of the sensors attaching Connie to that place physically.
It’s a choice of perspective; focus on the looming possibility of the negatives that we all face or choose hope beyond the circumstances. They have a more evident reminder of physical mortality than they did a week ago but the reminder only carries the leverage and power of fear for as long as they decide to focus on it. If they remain neutral in their decision of how to respond, they will default into worry and captive to an imagination fueled by every well-meaning story of visitors that tells of a relative whose tragedy is irrelevant or shares internet based medical “knowledge” that is less than encouraging. To move beyond neutral, then, is a conscious decision made more than once to purposefully focus on hope and healing thus rejecting fear and worry.
We all face very similar choices every day, although thankfully not usually as drastic as Joe and Connie are facing. The choice is to look past the visible threats which would induce fear of losing money, security, relationships, health or even life and choose to listen to Hope and Courage even against all of the evidence. That doesn’t mean that we bury our head in the sand . . . Joe and Connie are taking full advantage of medical technology and care. It means that we walk through life with vision beyond the threats, being reminded as often as needed and knowing that there is Peace in the storm which defeats the efforts to kill, steal and destroy our joy.