Our daughter, Anne (everyone calls her Anney) is an E.R. doctor in a hospital on the west end of Honolulu. This particular hospital serves a high percentage of poor indigenous Hawaiians. She often says she works in a third-world country. She’s a character, and often has us in stitches just telling us about an ordinary day. “Drama Queen” has been suggested, but that makes her sound like a dumb blond, and though she may be blond, she is certainly not dumb. She is highly respected by her colleagues and other doctors are continually coming to her for advice. She has a gift. Her diagnoses, without even testing, are always spot-on.
This might sound like I’m starting to set you up for a coronavirus story, but Anney has yet to encounter that head-on because she has been out of work for a number of weeks with a serious knee injury.
For someone as active as Anney, who surfs 20-foot waves and gets air off of ramps and rails on a snowboard, to have injured herself slipping on ice in front of her hotel on a winter holiday is as frustrating as it is embarrassing. To Anney, it’s pointless. At least kill yourself doing something daring.
But her pain and frustration were severely amplified when her dog ran away a few nights ago during a loud thunderstorm. Since rescuing the dog from a trash bin in Puerto Rico, this dog (Mallay) and Anney have been inseparable. And though you’ve heard all those stories, (and have some of your own, I’m sure), about how such-and-such dog is actually human, in this case, it’s true. I could write a book about this, but I will spare you except to mention that when Anney goes surfing, Mallay sits on the shore and doesn’t move a muscle until Anney returns. It can be hours. And if the dog suddenly decides Anney has been out there long enough, she will jump in the water and swim out to her. Fortunately Anney or someone else spots her before she makes it out to the really big waves or she wouldn’t still be alive.
Needless to say, Anney was devastated by this loss. Without going into other emotional traumas in her life at this time, this was the last straw — the one thing she could not possibly handle. We went through two-and-a-half days of tears on the phone.
By the third day, Anney had given up hope, and though we told her not to, she was simply preparing herself for the worst. Meanwhile, we were gathering an army of praying believers. We had our prayer warriors on it right away; Marti sent out personal notes to those who are special to Anney; I mentioned it to people I was communicating with that day and tried to bolster her hopes based on the sheer number of people praying. I personally appealed to God’s mercy, knowing how difficult these last few weeks had been for her without adding this. I had a feeling God was going to do something.
Sure enough, later that day, someone called. They had found Mallay hiding under their house, 15 miles away. She was injured from apparently being struck by a car. A couple of broken ribs and a gash on her forehead, but she will recover. Joy!
There are some lessons here. 1) God cares about what we care about. This may seem small in the face of those who are suffering and dying, but I’ve discovered that nothing is too small for Him. If anyone understands the value of pets, it would be the Lord, who made them for our enjoyment, companionship and the lessons they teach us. 2) God always answers prayer. He answers prayer by revealing His will to us. We hear from the Lord. Like Anney, we are not dumb; we just sometimes don’t hear what we don’t want to hear. But He always answers prayer and He answers in the context of what is best for us given the whole of our life, which we may not always understand along the way. 3) Prayer brings us together. So many of you resonated with this story and Anney’s need that our faith was strengthened by your love. 4) There really is something to bugging God for what you want. Jesus told a parable once about a widow who persisted in requesting justice from a judge and he finally got up and answered her just to get her to stop banging on his door. “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.” (Luke 18:7-8)
Your heavenly Father knows what you have need of. Ask.