I love receiving freshly cooked meals delivered to our door. It makes being under the weather just a bit easier to bear. And the visits with some of our closest friends during January and February made the food taste just that much better.
Remember: It’s hard for me to give a short answer. “I feel good, a bit tired, but happy to be home,” I said. “I find it hard to believe that I actually had a major heart attack,” I explained.
I remember a conversation with Dan and Debbie Gyger. They are some of our longtime friends through our church. Dan is an elder and residential contractor and had recently remodeled our kitchen, dining and living rooms. Debbie is an accomplished nurse and grew up in Brazil as part of a missionary family. They have three daughters and brought us some amazing tortilla soup and salad.
Jenny was not home from school yet, so I sat and talked with Dan and Deb. Being a nurse, Deb had pretty specific questions about where the blockage had been and what the doctors did. She instantly picked up on the seriousness of having a one-hundred percent blocked left anterior descending artery was and how close to death I had been. They were both very serious in their comments and thankfulness to God on my behalf. Dan prayed for Jenny, our family and me before they left.
I coughed through most of the conversation as I was still feeling the effects of my allergic reaction to Benazepril. Even though the cough was the result of a chemical reaction, it was like most every cough that took on a mind of its own whenever the air flowed through my throat. It was uncontrollable. So, the best way to quiet it was to close my mouth and calm myself. Of course, the cough made my visitors uncomfortable as they were thinking that they didn’t want to make things worse for me. Consequently, they didn’t want to linger and make me have to talk to them.
The gifts of food and the visits of friends was another example of how suffering is a catalyst for community. If we are willing to share our weakness and fragility with others, folks are eager to come to our aid. My friends Jean Vanier and Curt Armstrong of L’Arche have pointed this out many times. Namely, we should be more trusting of the human heart. As we trust and allow others to share in our weakness, we bring out the glory and essence of our brothers and sisters who have been made in the image of God. I found this to be true as friends shared their good food and acts of kindness with us in our time of need.