The Waiting Room

Nov 22nd 2009

Today (Saturday) is my dad’s first day home from the hospital.  He was supposed to go home on Thursday, but his potassium was low so he had to wait.   waiting_roomYou know there is an awful lot of waiting that goes on in a hospital; waiting for a doctor, waiting for a meal, waiting for pain medication, waiting for a visit, waiting for sleep.

I was able to able to hang out with my mom and dad for a few days this week, and as I was making one of my many trips back and forth between dad’s room and the waiting room — that’s where the free coffee was — I was thinking about waiting.  An intensive care waiting room is different from most other places in the world.  There is a hush in the room, some emotion, but mostly even the emotion waits.  In a waiting room, people are a bit more ready to help each other out, a bit more polite, everyone is in the same boat.  In the waiting room, we are all wondering what the future holds, we are all thinking about someone we love.  And everything is focused on the doctor’s next report.  We are hoping for a good report.

It’s an interesting thing about the Biblical word for hope. In the New Testament, the word hope is the same as the word wait. Biblical hope is not an I-wish-kinda-hope. It’s trust-filled waiting upon the one who can save us.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word most frequently translated as hope is the word qawvaw.  The word literally means… cord.   Hope is a cord.  Hope is a connection.  Hope is nothing more tying yourself to something solid.

Put them both together and hope is waiting for God, while tied securely to God. Some of us are struggling with hope right now aren’t we?

So what do we need?  We need to find a connection that will not be shaken no matter what we go through; strong cords tied to something substantial.  We don’t need a watered-down feel-good “Chicken-Soup-for-the-Soul” God.  We want strong cords anchoring us to an unmovable, unshakable, rock of a God.   Psalm 62:5-6 states, “I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. (My cord is attached to him.)  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.”

Jenni Bateman is a God-passionate, people-loving artist.  Some of her work is on display at the HUB. She has a piece that started me pondering hope.  The piece is entitled Hanging by a Thread. It’s about hope in hurting times.  Nobody enjoys hanging by a thread, but sometimes those hanging-by-a-thread seasons lead to a whole new experience of hope.  Looking back we realize that the thread was really a cord, and the cord was attached securely to the rock of God.

When it comes to hospitals — it doesn’t matter how nice they may be — there is no place like home.  But sometimes seasons of waiting add strength to our homes, don’t they?