By Tony Marciano
The day of my daughter’s eye surgery, we arrived at the hospital, got on the elevator, only to realize we were already on the correct floor. We got off and prepared for another operation. Over many years, we unsuccessfully battled an illness that was winning.
Just a few weeks prior, we had someone with the gift of healing pray for my daughter. His gift healed a friend of cancer. After he prayed for Maria, her eyes developed further problems. She was scheduled for surgery. What was supposed to have been a day off at the auto show turned into a day of waiting for my daughter to come out of surgery.
I was the last one to see her before she went in for surgery. I tried to smile as I looked at her. I held back tears I wanted to shed. I felt powerless. We had worked so hard for so many years to preserve her eyesight but we were losing that battle. Her surgery took two hours longer than anyone expected. God used Pastor Jim to heal my friend of cancer. Could He not do the same for my daughter?
During this time, I read the book, “When God Doesn’t Fix It” by Laura Story. She and her husband were newly married when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After surgery, he developed an infection which lead to him losing his short-term memory. Their plan was for her to be a stay-at-home mom. Those plans quickly changed.
His disability affected every aspect of their life. He couldn’t drive. He wasn’t working. He had to be reminded about everything. His short-term memory was affecting their marriage.
He asked her a question and she answered. This went on several times. It aggravated her. In addition, the disability caused him to lose 50 percent of his sight. When they did have kids, he tripped over them because he couldn’t see them.
Laura explained her husband’s disability was not the problem in their marriage. The disability revealed her sin. How did it expose Laura’s sin? It revealed her impatience when he asked her the same question over and over and over and over. Couldn’t he remember?
When Maria was young, I faced the issue of making sure she had medical coverage when I changed jobs. When she graduated college, I made sure there was no lapse in insurance coverage. I found it an honor to provide for her. But that wasn’t my problem.
For weeks, I looked forward to attending the auto show. Friday was Maria’s surgery and I was where I should be, with her at the hospital. On Saturday, I felt her husband could watch her while my wife and I got out of the house. But mama bear wasn’t going anywhere while her baby cub needed her tender care. I was annoyed and went alone. It revealed my sin of self-centeredness.
Post-op recovery didn’t go well. What was supposed to be one week’s recovery went on for several weeks. In fact, Maria and her husband moved into my house for over three weeks. I was the one who said, “You stay as long as you want. Your recovery is top priority.”
Like Laura, I live with the idea that God doesn’t always fix it. We want there to be a happy ending. It’s as if we are trying to prove there is a God and He is good. I’ve come to terms with the idea that God is good, even when He doesn’t fix it. But I never give up the hope He will surprise me. Both co-exist.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.
Rev. Tony Marciano is the executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Find more information at www.charlotterescuemission.org.