Yesterday, Cheryl had minor surgery on her hand. (She’s doing great and recovering nicely.) After the procedure, we were walking down the hall with her bandaged arm in what resembles a block of cheese, dressed in her hospital half-gown on the way to the bathroom. As we walked, memories surfaced of hallways we’ve travelled.
I remembered walking hallways with her as she labored with three of our children (Number four came more quickly). I remember being very proud of her and glad that God made women to give birth to children. We were walking with purpose knowing that if the contractions didn’t grow stronger and more frequent then we would suffer the “shame” of being sent home. Though she hides it better, we are both fairly competitive. So, we walked with purpose and with joy knowing that we would soon see the face of our child. We walked those hallways…together.
I remembered another hallway winding through the labyrinth of Charlotte Medical Center to a small exam room. Our oldest son was being tested for potential genetic issues related to his Asperger’s diagnosis. The test was just a precaution. The appointment involved needles. He was three. We were scared. But, we walked the hallway…together.
Some hallway memories involved the needs of others. Over the years, we’ve walked down countless hospital hallways to visit newborns and parents who are so scared they can only smile. We’ve walked to be with families hearing unwelcome news. Walking hallways of ministry with her for almost 20 years is a privilege. Her gentleness and kindness comfort the hearts of those around her. And, by God’s grace, we continue to walk these hallways… together.
As I walked next to Cheryl today on the way to the bathroom, I realized that there will be days when we walk hallways of joy and courage, anxiety and fear, closeness and caring. Each of these await us on our journey. If The Lord wills, there will be days when I’m the one shrouded in a half robe requiring assistance to get to the bathroom. There could also be a day when one of us walks that hallway alone…when death bids us part for a time. Until then, my prayer and plan is that we will joyfully walk these hallways…whatever they look like…together.