But, hey, for the purposes of this blog, we could just call him Mr. Lovely. Or Mr. Perfect. Or Mr. Super Nice Guy. Or Mr. Special. At the time, however, I called him The Rocket. He was lean and fit and just like my naturopath, his skin glowed with great health and he didn’t miss a trick.
At this point, I really wasn’t thinking about what God may or may not have been lining up so I could reach my goal of ‘Shalom’ – a Hebrew word that means, ‘nothing missing, nothing broken’. I possessed no earthly contacts to advance my pleading case of mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, so I was pretty much biding my time, hanging on to this diseased body part as chemo continued to shrink the lump within.
The Rocket greeted me and I marveled at how well people in medical positions talk to you as though you look perfectly normal to them. He acted like I was not sitting in a washed-out shapeless Johnny shirt, devoid of eyelashes and eyebrows, wearing a wig I singed by opening the oven door with it on while baking. (Melt, baby, melt.)
He asked me something. I don’t recall what, but a greeting kind of question.
I answered him. I don’t recall what, but it seemed like a rather innocuous response.
“So,” he said, “You’re a spiritual person!”
I started to look at him again – more carefully – to see if he was sporting some kind of spiritual antennae that I had carelessly overlooked at first glance. I was completely caught off guard.
“Aaahhh. Ummm. Yes. I am.”
“Ahhhh. Ummm.” Do I tell him? “Christian.”
“Great!” he said. “Then what would you like to tell me?” There was not one whiff of sarcasm or judgment or disdain in his voice.
What did I want to say, indeed. I was so excited to be the presence of a doctor who actually thought it was okay to bring my spirituality into the cancer equation. What did I want to say?
“I want to tell you that I have listened deep within myself and I’m not going anywhere.” Okay, here it comes. He’s gonna say something about how I can’t hope for that.
“Wonderful,” he said. “So, you need me to help you get, what, another 50 years or so?”
I am really bad at math, so that took a minute for me to compute … Oh, he’s saying he wants to help me live till I’m 95.
“Yes, that would be fine!”
There are many, many things I could tell you about The Rocket. And I probably will. He is a rare and exotic bird living in the forest of doctors.
And if I wasn’t paying attention to what God was doing in the details, that encounter that day with that man reminded me again that Someone with a much bigger view of my life knew I needed a spiritual boost – and a champion inside the system to help me reach my goal.
Unbeknownst to me, The Rocket would play what I would characterize as a divinely pivotal role nearly three months later when I was drowning in confusion and disappointment and anger about how it was all going down."