The Surgical Waiting Room Revival Tent
It’s amazing how the cracked walls and worn out chairs of a pediatric surgical waiting room can give way to the holiest of ground.
The stone floors Cathedral; consecrated by hard steps of anxious parents.
Tears on tired eyes, prayers on their lips.
Muffled sounds of Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, English prayer mingle in the air like smoke in a crowded pub.
Yes, this is place is charged with Holy.
I’m not particularly worried about my daughter who is inside, away from me, in the tight arms of general anesthesia.
Hers is minor- a “no biggie”‘ of orthopedic surgeries.
She’s a strong girl, a healthy girl, she was calm and relaxed all day; the procedure is simple and straight forward, Please GD.
It’s going to be smooth and easy. It’s going to be totally fine.
Still, out here in this revival tent waiting room
I cry and I pray as if I’m in the major leagues of worry.
I’m not worried- but the tears are here anyway. This hospital pulses with a steady hum of fear and dread – so thick you can smell it.
It’s heavy like a magnet, spreads fast like a virus – I don’t want any part of that.
I throw my heart like a rag doll towards something lighter.
My lips, my heart’s spokesman.
I reach Above.
Away from the thickness, the fear, the darkness
Sweet, patient, Always-on-stand-by, G-d.
Father, Mother and Rock.
I cry out to Him, feeling – no knowing – that I am heard.
I’m connected. It feels right. It feels so, so right.
I turn my back to the mothers and fathers in the room with me;
The father who doesn’t notice he’s still wearing surgical booties on top of his shoes, the grandmother clutching tattered books of psalms, the mother with the empty stroller and a tight jaw.
I weep quietly into words of my prayer book-app on my iPhone,
Noting the how much blending this world allows.
Hide-tide emotion swells in my chest.
I’m not afraid.
But, I weep still.
I weep because I feel life and I feel love.
I feel it deep.
A broken glass under a wedding canopy kind of connectivity… hard and soft and all at once alive.
Tears purify, like water on a high priest’s hands and feet.
I give my tears to Him alone.
There is no room for anything else.
I need Him to feel me. To hear me.
-I need her to be okay-
No text to my man or call to my girlfriend.
I am here alone with my G-d, in this temple, in this makeshift revival tent in the pediatric waiting room.
A young mother hands me tissues.
She doesn’t look at me, just stretches out her hand.
An unspoken understanding floating between us
“Those tears are earned- let them fall.”
My daughter’s name is spoken in a thick Russian accent over a scratchy loud speaker.
It warms and chills me in equal measure.
I grab our bags quick and hard and run to the place from where they spoke her name.
A kind nurse opens a double door and takes me to my child.
She is whole. She is well. She will recover.
Thank You G-d. Thank You.