I have never felt a pain on my chest like the one I had a week ago, it happened as I was finishing my workout in the gym. Was I pushing it? Yes.
So I drove to casualty and then the coincidences begun to unfold… I was seen by the nurse, I told her what happened and as I was coming out of the treatment room I heard my name …”Dario, what are you doing here?” that was one of the Doctors who works in casualty, I met him when I was an Assistant Minister.
After several blood test my doctor friend explained to me that I was not going anywhere but to be admitted for further treatment and observation!!
So, I phoned my wife and asked some close friends to pray for me, then I heard another voice calling my name “Dario”, I knew it was you! What happened? This time my new friend who goes to Carnmoney Presbyterian Church with a smile on her face reassured me that I was in the best place! I asked her if I can walk to the Cardio Ward and I was given a: “NO you just sit here in this wheelchair and we will take you there”.
Suddenly I begun to realise that I was no longer in control but I was in the hands of caring people who were making decisions about my health, my life and possibly my future.
Being in the ward I begun to realised how fragile life is, that we are all exposed to sickness and death. Everyone in that ward had a heart related sickness, for some of us came because of age, because of the ware and tear and in my case trying to get fit again, what an irony! In my quest for getting my body into a healthy shape, I became ill.
(I am resisting the preacher in me and draw parallels with the most serious heart problem that we all carry, which it is too a matter of life and death.)
So as I stayed there for five days I met so many different people, from nurses who came to me with beautiful smiles telling me to surrender my arm and give in… I call that the voluntarily act of giving up my blood. I was wired to a monitor that was checking my heart rate, my blood pressure and oxygen. They even shaved part of my chest!! Honest, the needles did not bother me but pulling my body hair was torture!
I met caring men and women offering cups of tea and hot food, from cleaners who came early in the morning to greet you and wishing you well to other fellow heart related friends, some of whom I will never forget, like this mighty granddad who is a well known artist, who loves Jesus, telling me that all will be ok, to the retired baker who before I left to go for my big heart examination said to me: “Dario, I will be praying for you”.
Monday came and I was moved to another hospital for the “cardio angiography” as soon as the paramedics arrived I recognised one of them, and again he asked me “What are you doing here?” We will take care of you, don’t you worry”
As I arrived to the ward I was greeted by a senior nurse, as soon as she saw me she said, “I know you, you came to preach in our church, I am a christian and I remember you”… “don’t worry, all will be ok, let us take care of you”. When the procedure (angiography) was explained I was moved to the surgical unit where the Cardiologist came to meet me and to reassure me that all will be well. He even said to me that he did not believe that there was nothing wrong with my heart or arteries. He predicted that based on my medical short history written on a blue file. I call that prophesy!
Then, as he said it, nothing was found and I have a normal heart and sound arteries, which means I can go back to the gym! But just before I left them, one of the highly trained cardio nurse came to me saying:” I know someone from South America, he is from Peru, do you know him? He too was onboard the M/V Logos 2, just like you… ” Yes I do know him, I replied. Then she told me that she was a missionary kid, who lived in North Africa.
When Jesus said: “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you, and I will be with you always” He meant every one of those words. In a place of life and death, I found Jesus in everyone I met. I did not panic, I did not lose hope, I did not worry, even though I had a nasty nightmare, I did not give in. I knew that throughout all those coincidences Jesus, the Shepherd, was with me and with my family and He was there through friends who came and prayed for me.
It seems that everyone I came across with I was somehow related to, and there were so many dots connecting to my own story. With people that I met before and with people that I met for the first time there was some sort of a relationship, I am going to call that “Church”.