I was looking at a billboard of the average credit score in our area, and it was about 661 points. Your credit score is based on your willingness and/or ability to repay your debts. I thought of how there are some debts that cannot be repaid. These are kindnesses that made a difference at a crucial time in our lives. You just know that nothing you can do can ever express fully your gratitude for what t those persons have done for you. To simply say thanks is not enough.
Twelve years ago, I had a number of struggles each day. My youngest son, Mac, had just had a heart transplant, and he had been in the hospital for over three months. I had his two daughters, ages 8 and 12, so each day began with getting breakfast ready for them and driving them to two different schools before I left for the long trip to the hospital by car, train, and bus. I spent about eight to ten hours a day at the hospital with Mac.
I was trying to finish my doctorate, because I only had one more semester of financial aid available. I was stressed to the maximum, and I was having some problems breathing. When I walked my granddaughter up the hill into her school each morning, I could barely breathe on the way back to my car. I thought I was just overweight at 170 pounds and not getting enough exercise.
I eventually went to the doctor. But after seeing two different doctors and taking a lot of medications, I was getting worse, not better. Finally, the day we had prayed for came and we knew that Malcolm was coming home in three days, which meant more time for me to rest my body, soul, and mind. So, Mac looks at me and said, “Mama, you can leave and go back to the doctor. You know that I’m going to be alright.”
I had went to a doctor that Douglas recommended and he had given me breathing treatments. He told me to come back in two days if I were no better. I went so Mac wouldn’t be upset and stressed. When I walked into his office and he heard my labored breathing, he said that I needed a chest x-ray. But, as a graduate student, I had no health insurance and Douglas’s health insurance would not pay for it without prior authorization.
Looking anxious, he said that he would do it for free. When he looked at the x-ray, he asked me how I had come to his office. I told him by bus, and he was shocked. He said that I had a collapsed lung with a mass in it, and that my lung had been collapsed for a while. He said that I should have been dead at least three weeks!
Then, he had his nurse drive me to the nearest trauma hospital, sending the X-rays with me. He was correct, and after a morphine shot, a very kind doctor inserted a tube to reinflate my left lung. That doctor told me that it was nothing short of a miracle that I was still alive. He could not believe all the things I had been doing each day and had not lost my life. I joked that I was too busy and had too many people depending on me for me to die!
The mass seen was was my lung. The young doctor had probably never seen a completely collapsed lung before. I was in the hospital for nine days. It felt so good to breathe again. We take breathing for granted, because it just happens without any assistance from us.
As I laid in the hospital, I thought about how close I had come to dying. I knew that I owed a debt to that young doctor who did not allow my lack of health insurance to prevent him saving my life. How do you repay the gift of breathing? What can you say to someone who gives you a second chance to be with your family? There is no way. It is a debt that can never be repaid.
I did go back to thank him, wishing that I could have at least paid him for the x-ray. He was just glad that I was alive. When we are in Atlanta again, I hope to go see him to thank him all over again.
As a Christian, I understand better than most the concept of a debt that cannot be repaid, for Jesus, who knew no sin, died for my sins, so that I could have life abundant on earth and eternal life after death. I don’t forget that I couldn’t have paid the price for eternal life either, for it took the blood of the sinless Lamb of God to accomplish that feat for us.
No amount of money could repay Him for such a courageous and loving act as giving His life for us. It is also a debt that can never be repaid. But I can spend my days in gratitude and praise for the many victories over death I have experienced, for it was not fortuitous that I was steered to the right doctor at the right time. It was part of God’s plan for my life that I am still in the land of the living.