This morning I drove Grandma and Uncle Roy to Gaston Hematology & Oncology. As we pulled into the parking lot, a lady and who appeared to be her father were exiting the building. His tall, frail frame caught my attention. He reminded me of my Uncle “Knot” who courageously battled cancer before his death a couple years ago…
It wasn’t long before my uncle was called to the back for his tests. My grandmother sat in a sturdy arm chair in the waiting area. I took my place on a surprisingly comfortable sofa alongside a large window. Patient after patient came and went through the heavy wooden doors. Men, women and children filled out forms, flipped through magazines and watched the same pharmaceutical commercials loop on the small flat screen TV. One man in particular, who appeared to be in his mid to late forties, walked in and went to the front desk.
Medical Office Assistant: “Hello sir, how are you?”
Patient: “Well…I’m actually pretty nervous.”
It’s unusual to hear any response besides the usual “fine, how are you.” But, he was being honest and transparent. Sitting in a facility where people are diagnosed with cancer other life-altering ailments, and receive chemotherapy and other treatments, I could only imagine what was going through their minds.
But, in a room full of worried faces and nervous hearts, a soothing sound seeped through the quietness. It was the tranquil, welcoming melody of four little birds chirping in a big, beautiful display nearby. The colorful birds fluttered around singing happily, nibbling on tiny seeds. I imagine the addition of the beautiful birds was just a part of the design plan, and they chose birds over fish perhaps. However, I see them as peace in the midst of uncertainty. If only for a few minutes, someone’s weary mind can be distracted by the beautiful, playful beings.
I believe that if we’re intentional about what we allow in our mental space, we can find a glimmer of hope in despair, a ray of light in the darkness and serenity in the storm. It could be something as simple as the sound of rain on a tin roof, the soft cuddles of a newborn, a babbling brook or the innocent laughter of a child.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
There is still love. There is still life. There is still hope.
God can calm any storm in our lives, no matter how rough the waves or how strong the winds may blow. May we always see beauty in the battle.