This past week my eighty two year old father underwent back surgery. Anytime an anesthesiologist puts you under and you have surgery is a good time to pray, but definitely if you are eighty two.

Early morning in pre-op my mother, brother, and I stood beside Dad’s gurney and prayed. We boldly approached the throne of grace and petitioned Jesus for mercy for frail bodies and human doctors, then we asked him to embrace Dad with his grace. As soon we said “amen” the nurse and anesthesiologist entered with charts. After checking charts and tubes, they asked Dad if he was ready. Nodding his head, the doctor then turned toward us and asked, “you guys want to do hugs?”

“Certainly,” I said with a sheepish grin. I walked across the room and gave the doctor a bear hug. Dad started laughing on the gurney. I turned toward the laughing nurse and said, “You too. Come here. Get your hugs.”

With the doctor, nurse, and Dad laughing, they wheeled Dad from pre-op into surgery. My brother shook his head at his silly sister. I responded, “Dad was hugged by us and God’s grace before they entered. So the request for hugs had to be for them.”

Dad’s surgery went great, much better than anticipated. We were reminded again of the goodness of God and how leaving our concerns with him fills us with joy, and that joy becomes ours and others’ strength.