I was on my way to the hospital for some tests. I was supposed to have had them done weeks ago but there was a problem with the requisition and I had to get a new one. So there I was, three weeks late, driving to the outpatient lab.
“God,” I prayed as I maneuvered the minivan through the still-dark city, “I know that I have it ridiculously easy compared to others, but I sometimes feel a bit discouraged and alone. It’s silly, but it is what it is.”
As I drove, I thought about how, over this 17-year journey, it has been so rare to meet other people who have been diagnosed with kidney disease. Even at the nephrology clinic, people don’t seem to want to talk to each other.
I was the fourth person at the lab, with 45 minutes left to wait. I sat down and stared out the window as a steady stream of people began to file in.
“Anyone else here just have a kidney transplant?” an elderly gentleman with silver-gray hair asked the question loudly as he walked to the far end of the lab. His pleasant-faced wife trailed behind.
“I did,” said the man across from me.
“Me too,” said the woman next to me.
There were six of them sitting in a cluster in the middle of a busy waiting room, with me in the middle. It’s just a blood lab. In a huge hospital. Everyone comes for different reasons. And yet here I was surrounded by a completely random group of kidney patients. Strangers to each other, strangers to me. All getting blood work done at the same time purely by coincidence.
What are the odds?
They began to share their stories. Years of dialysis. Transplant lists. Surgeries. Things I’ll never have to experience in my life. My problems are minor compared to theirs.
One beautiful woman (who spent 5-1/2 years on dialysis AFTER beating cancer) began to share about how Jesus took care of even the tiniest details of her transplant last month and how glad she is that God has it all in His hands.
Her faith, her story and her sweet attitude will forever change my life.
I have three healthy and precious children, no kidney scarring or degeneration, no dialysis or chemo drugs necessary, long periods of remission … I am so blessed! I needed the reminder.
But, more importantly, I am loved. God brought together a random group of strangers in a blood lab at a hospital. Then He orchestrated circumstances so that I would be there today (when I should have been there weeks ago). All that, just to let me know that He cares.
The little things. The big things. He cares.
I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful start to the day.