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Pneumonia and Other Detours

April 16, 2012

I had a mind-numbing research day at the Minnesota Historical Society on Saturday. That means a good day: I had so much time to spend that my eyes got tired reading and my brain got tired thinking. On the drive home from the History Center I was mentally gearing up for a neighborhood party that night. Thinking about birthday presents, I found myself in the parking lot of a strip mall. The wrong mall. Like five or six miles away from right -wrong.

My first impulse was to grumble in my heart: What am I doing here? I just wasted five minutes…. 

Then the Holy Spirit checked me.  Say, ‘Thank you for the pneumonia.’ Remember? “…in everything give thanks for this is the will of the Father in Christ Jesus for you.”

I was contrite. A week ago to that moment my husband was in the CICU and I said to him, “I am thanking God for the pneumonia.”

The pneumonia that had pretzeled our family schedule and messed up our sleep for a month. The pneumonia Hope caught from a playmate, then passed to Joy, who passed it to her PCA.

When my husband woke up Good Friday morning feeling under the weather with an odd sensation in his chest, we thought Joy had passed it to him, too. So he made a same-day appointment with a doctor instead of waiting to see if his symptoms worsened, which is his usual style.

The doctor discovered he didn’t have pneumonia; he was having a heart attack. 

So Saturday afternoon, at the wrong mall, I lifted my eyes to the highway and said, “Thank you, God. I don’t know why I’m here. What you may have just protected me from. What you may be sending me to. But I’m sorry for grumbling about my circumstances when I should have said, ‘Thank you!'”


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