“What did you swallow?” the triage attendant asks incredulously.
I brace myself and repeat for the hundredth time. “I swallowed the tab from a soda can.”
“How’d you do that?”
I know. I already feel stupid. Who does this sort of thing?
I’m not your everyday ER patient. I’m not a child who put something weird in her mouth. I wasn’t drunk or otherwise impaired. I’m just a mom who was watching her kids at swim team practice.
Earlier that morning, when I grabbed a can of La Croix and dashed out the door, I had no idea how the day was about to change. When the darling, adorable child pulled off the tab and dropped it inside, I didn’t know I should throw the can in the garbage right that very moment. It never crossed my mind that one could actually swallow something as big as an aluminum tab – before even realizing what had happened.
Nope, I didn’t know any of that – until today.
Now I’m rather an expert on such things.
Two sets of x-rays, 5+ hours in the ER and an endoscopy… still no tab. It left its mark – I can feel the scratch down my throat. But the tab itself has officially gone into hiding.
Quite a frustrating, unpleasant day. Not one I’d like to repeat. Ever.
But it wasn’t all bad. In fact, as I ponder it in retrospect, I’m struck by one thing – the Body of Christ is truly an amazing gift.
My sweet friend at swim team practice dropped everything and drove me home, then cared for my kids all day. My precious hubby cleared his schedule and sat with me in the emergency room. My family and church family prayed. Lots of people sent offers of help via text message. And the GI doctor, who called me after I left the hospital, asked if he could pray for me over the phone. His prayer brought me to tears. He called on God our Healer and Provider and lifted me before the Lord in Jesus’ name.
We Christians have been born again into a truly incredible community!
Church friends, long-time friends, new friends, even total strangers…if we’re Christians, we all have one thing in common. We love Jesus. And because of that, we are family.
Right now, story after story is washing over me as I remember God’s love poured out through His people.
Like when our whole church rejoiced at my oldest child’s baptism.
And when concerned friends brought meals during my sick days of pregnancy.
And when a dear man from church sent my little boy a note to say that he’s praying for him.
And when loved ones cried with us as we grieved a miscarriage.
In joys and sorrows, achievements and losses – we’ve been through it all together. This is how it’s supposed to work. This is the Body functioning as God planned. What a beautiful gift!
I know, it’s not happiness and harmony all the time. We the collective Church are human. We’ve been forgiven and made new, but we don’t always act like it. Sometimes we hurt each other – sometimes even on purpose. Oh, how the devil loves to tear us apart!
But we need each other. We need committed friendships and regular fellowship that we aren’t quick to walk away from. It’s worth working at, working through, and working beyond the issues that separate. It’s worth swallowing our pride and admitting when we’re wrong. It’s worth overlooking offenses, extending forgiveness, accepting differences and learning from each other.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Eccl 4:9-10, 12).
This gift of community is priceless.
So today, I’m asking myself – how well am I contributing to the Body of Christ? Am I as willing to serve others as they have been to me? Am I pursuing growth and unity out of love for Jesus?
How about you? How are you doing? What community of believers do you do life with and how have you ministered to one another? I’d love to hear!