Days of Grace: Meditations and Practices for Living with Illness by Mary C. Earle. 

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Day Eighteen

The God who Works Wonders

Written By Mary C. Earle

Practice Note

Meditation: <listen>

You are the God who works wonders.
—Psalm  77:14

Several years ago when I was on staff at an Episcopal church in San Antonio, during a staff meeting, we began reflecting on the fact that each one of us, had we lived one generation earlier, would probably have died at an early age. One of us had had malignant melanoma. Another had been in a terrible car accident and required extensive surgery. Another had almost lost a baby when things went wrong at delivery; an emergency C-section saved both mother and child.

We tend to forget that ours is an age of wonders. Laparoscopic surgeries prevent blood loss and extended recovery time. Diagnostic tests catch all kinds of maladies at an early stage, thus allowing for better treatment.  Physicians of all specialties bring stunning intellectual and intuitive capacities to the service of their patients.

In all of this, the God who works wonders is working. In all of this, divine grace and wisdom is inspiring research, diagnostic care and ongoing medical attention for a full panoply of diseases and conditions. Remember to thank those who tend you. Remember to give thanks to God for your medicines, for the diagnostic tests that allow for a precise diagnosis, for the aides, the nurses, the technicians, the physicians whose dedication allows you to live with illness. And give thanks to God for the wonders worked in and through human memory, reason and skill.

I give You thanks, most gracious God, for the physicians, nurses, aides and technicians whose skill and attention has been offered on my behalf. Grant me a deepening awareness of and gratitude for your working in and through their care and ministration. Amen.

Practice: <listen>

Call to mind the various physicians who have tended you as you have lived with your particular illness. Write their names in your journal, and give thanks for each one. Recall the nurses who have come to your aid. Write their names in your journal and give thanks for each one. Recall the lab techs who have tended you or have taken blood samples. Write their names in your journal and give thanks (you may be noticing that you do not know all of their names—and yet these people have helped you continue to live, each in their offering of skill and experience). If you feel led to write to any of these people who have tended you, send them a card. And, if you sense it is appropriate, you may want to let their superiors know of a job well done. We are a society of complainers; one gift of living with illness is to be steadfast in naming gifts received and letting others know of your gratitude for work well done.

Reference Note: All  psalms are taken from the psalter in The Book of Common Prayer, 1979.