Monday, April 30, 2012


Looking down one day

running my finger across my stomach

and discovering a lump there.

A marble-sized lump.

Hoped to God it wasn’t anything

like maybe it was a big subterranean zit that would eventually pop and drain away.

But it didn’t drain away.

And I waited a couple of weeks before showing it to my parents

and begged them not to touch it

but Dad did anyway

to feel for himself that something was wrong.

And from there

we set up a few doctors’ appointments

which ended in a meeting with Dr. Henry Farrar

a happy man

always smiling.

And Dr. Farrar wasn’t completely sure what the thing was

but thought it would be better to cut it out

or off

or something like that.

And so we scheduled a surgery for right before Christmas

in order to give me time to heal

before basketball practice started back up.

And I was super-nervous about the whole thing

but tried not to show it


Until the day I checked into the hospital.

I probably showed it then.

And I rested for that entire afternoon in my hospital bed.


but glad I had a room to myself.

Not like in the movies where you had a roommate

or worse

where you had to lie on a cot in a ward full of wounded soldiers.

And after awhile

a hospital person came into the room to shave my stomach.

And I wished I had something to make his job worthwhile

but there was only peach fuzz.

And then I was alone.

Everything still.

And after what seemed like the longest night of my life

the sun came up and




And I wondered why in the world surgery had to take place at the crack of dawn

but was glad to get it over with.

And my parents walked into the room

and I looked at dad and asked him what he was doing there

because I thought he should probably be on campus grading papers or something

and he said he wanted to be there.

And that’s when I knew it was serious

more serious than having a cavity filled.

And I took a deep breath

remembering that I’d already prayed about everything.

And an orderly or two wheeled me off to the operating room

where a man put a black mask over my face and told me to count backwards from 5

but I got a late start and only got to the number 4

before my world turned to black.

And I opened my eyes

what seemed like

a few moments later

and they were wheeling me back to my room.

And pretty soon I felt a soreness in my belly

like God’s own fury.

And a nurse handed me some pills.

But not enough.

I could have used about three more of them

every hour or so.

And then …


this might be the best part.

And then

the visitors began to come.

They streamed through the door of my hospital room

so many that we should have installed a number dispenser on the wall

and shouted

Now serving number 43!

Men and women from church.

Brother Dale Foster our preacher.

Parents of my friends.

So much caring

so much loving.

Someone even brought me a Frosty from Wendy’s.

It was then that I realized …

I was not alone in all of this.

I was a part of something bigger.


  1. Glad you survived "The Ordeal!" We probably do not realized how many do care for us until we go through times such as these.

  2. Amen, brother Foster ... and thanks for coming to visit all those years ago!