As I answered the phone and heard the tone of his voice I knew it wasn’t good…
“Mommmm.” It hit a familiar cord. My mind raced. Lord please, not a car accident. No, it couldn’t be, he had left hours ago to go to my sister’s house to dogsit. What could it be?
“Hey buddy, what’s up?” I tried to keep my response light hearted hoping for the best…
“Are you busy?”
“No..” I kept my answer short to save time so that he would get to the impending problem.
“I’m on my way to the animal hospital.”
“What happened?” I knew it must be bad because his voice was so somber.
“Sammy’s eye fell out.”
My mind raced. HUH?! I’ve never heard of such a thing! Where was this eye?! How could this happen?! Did he have to pick it up and carry it to the hospital? What was going on?!!! How could I stay calm through this?!
“Sammy’s eye fell out?” That was all I could muster…
“Yes, can you tell me exactly where the animal hospital is…”
“Sure. I’ll meet you there.”
“Thanks, but you don’t need to.”
Really? That was a proud moment for mom! Yea, son!! But I knew I needed to go anyway. As much for my son as the dog and my sister.
I gave him directions, prayed a quick prayer, hung up the phone, grabbed my purse and headed for the door. As I drove to the animal hospital I wondered how could I possibly handle what I was about to see.
Remembering the train ticket story that Corrie ten Boom shared in one of her books granted me the courage I needed.
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who was imprisoned during WWII, along with her family. Her family hid many Jews from the Germans during the Holocaust. After her release from a German concentration camp, she wrote many books about her experiences and her faith in God. She had a strong faith which her parents shared.
Corrie recounted a time when she and her father were going to take a train for a trip they were going on. As they walked hand-in-hand to the train station, Corrie asked her father where her train ticket was. He told her that he was holding it for her. Corrie was anxious and wanted to hold her ticket, but her father told her she didn’t need to be concerned; that he would handle it until she needed it. When they arrived at the train station, just before she was to present the ticket to the cashier, Mr. ten Boom handed the anxious Corrie her train ticket.
He explained to her that God’s grace is similar to the train ticket. We ask for His grace and help prior to needing it. Often we get worried and anxious… (Just like me as I was stressed out wondering how I would be able to handle the dog with his eyeball detached).
In spite of the fact that all that worrying contradicts our trust in God – just at the time we need it, is when God gives us his grace to help us. There was no reason for Mr. ten Boom to give Corrie her train ticket prior to her needing it. And the same is true with God’s grace. He gives it to us at the moment of our need.
On my drive to the animal hospital I called my mom and we laughed a bit about the absurdity of the situation which broke some of the tension.
I arrived before my son. I alerted the vet that the dog would be arriving and told him about the eye. Heading to the parking lot, I saw my son drive in. I approached his car as he parked, took a deep breath, and confidently accepted God’s grace (my train ticket) knowing that he would get us through this next leg of the journey.
As the car door opened – my fears melted and my heart was instantly filled with compassion and courage rather than fear.
God is faithful and true to His word…
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.