Dad’s Mistake

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Last night my dad made a big mistake. Awakened in the wee hours, he reached for the eye drops that are always on his nightstand and flooded his eyes to relieve the uncomfortable dryness that often plagues him. But it wasn’t saline that flowed from that bottle. He had snatched up a bottle of iodine instead.

Imagine the pain! Imagine the panic. He rushed to the sink, splashing water into his eyes and sprinkling diluted iodine all over the carpet. He called for my mom, who called 911 and thanked God that what she saw on the floor was iodine and not blood.

The ambulance came. The hospital did its thing, they were home four hours later, and my dad is going to be okay. He’ll be in pain for a while. He will need a few extra trips to the ophthalmologist. They’ll have to buy new carpet.

Here is what I want to share with you, though—an excerpt from this afternoon’s email, written by my surely-exhausted-from-the-ordeal dad to me, his out-of-town-at-the-time daughter:

“Aren’t we all glad I was not riding in that ambulance to get treatment for a heart attack or something serious?  That thought makes this episode seem almost incidental.”  Almost incidental?

Here’s what the Apostle Paul had to say about moments like this, a verse we ought to read every day:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Dad lives this passage from Philippians. I know he and Mom started praying the moment the crisis began. Before long, his anxiety had turned to trust. And now, even as the pain continues, he is able to rejoice. That’s my dad. I want to be like him, don’t you?

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