IMG_1054.JPGI was talking to a patient’s family. Her son talked about having faith but being analytical. He likes data. He likes information. His wife knew little about God but has faith.

He described in detail what the doctor had said about the inside of his mom’s head. A fall had jostled it in ways that heads aren’t supposed to be jostled. The brain was bleeding in ways that it bleeds only when the head has been jostled.

Later that afternoon, the tube that was helping her breathe was coming out. Her body would be left to breathe or not, the heart to beat or not.

We talked for awhile, the four of us. Mom in the bed, unresponsive. The couple on one side of the bed, me on the other. When I walked in the room, the daughter-in-law introduced me to her mother-in-law. I said “hi.” We both knew that mom likely couldn’t hear, but maybe.

“I’ve made peace with this,” he said. “I still believe that there could be a miracle,” she said.

We talked about faith, about God, about loss and the accompanying grief. It was a thoughtful conversation. With them, and then, with God. I asked for peace and for courage for the family. I asked for a miracle, one way or another. And then I asked that mom would pass peacefully.

I went back a couple hours later. “She went peacefully,” the nurse said. “Only ten minutes.”

“That’s what I asked for,” I said. “When I prayed for her.”

“Keep praying,” she said.

“She went peacefully,” said one of the daughters.

“That’s what I asked for,” I said. “When I prayed for her.”

“If that worked,” she said, “thank you.”

I’m telling you this because sometimes we want data and sometimes we want miracles. And sometimes they may be the same thing.

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