The Life-Giving Phone Call


I rushed to the emergency room because my friend from Honduras was doubled over in excruciating pain. She needed someone to translate her Spanish into English. Wheeled into a CAT scan and a sonogram, my friend discovered she had a 14-centimeter mass on her uterus, a cyst in her ovary, and the organs in her abdomen were swollen. At that point they didn’t know that her appendix was full of pus and was about to burst.

Meanwhile one specialist after another came in and out of the room, asking questions. I found out that in Honduras, years ago, her last C-section had gone bad. It had opened up, and her intestines had come out of her body. She held her intestines in with her bare hand for 6 hours before she could get an operation to put them back in and sew her up.

After translating for 10 hours with no food, I was exhausted. Another friend from my Hispanic church called and asked if I needed anything. Food, I said. Within a short time, I was eating delicious Cuban food as far away from my friend as possible, since she was not allowed to eat or drink in case she needed emergency surgery.

When I looked into my friend’s anguished face, all I wanted was to take that pain into my own self to alleviate her. I realized this is what Jesus does for us. He loves us selflessly and takes all our anguish into Himself. I saw the cross in a new light, and I felt that Jesus was shining out of my face.

The lab assistant noticed. She said I had a gift, and that she had noticed my selflessness a year ago as I was taking care of another Hispanic woman who was alone at the hospital, in an emergency.

When she pierced my friend’s arm with a needle, I petted my friend’s head and told her that it was all for the best because now she was going to get the surgery that she had needed for years. “Hold on,” I said. “God is providing for you to be healed. Not many hours from now, you will be healthier than you’ve been for years.” Her eyes filled with hope and joy in the middle of her moaning pain.

I called home and told my son to make spaghetti for dinner. I texted my husband that dinner would be ready when he got home, but that I was at the hospital with my friend.

Later that evening, I answered my cell phone; it was my husband. We had been in some recent arguments, and depleted as I was, I braced myself. I didn’t want to be told that I had to go home and abandon my friend who had no way to communicate with the doctors and surgeons. I asked questions of the doctors that my moaning, almost unconscious friend wouldn’t have thought of asking, and I knew enough of her story to be able to add vital information that was needed for making the decision to go ahead with the surgery.

I was pleasantly surprised that the phone call was life-giving.

My husband asked if I wanted him to bring me some food. I told him I had just eaten, but it was kind of him to think of me. I wasn’t sure how much longer I would be at the hospital, because my friend was going to be transported to another hospital for the night, to have surgery the next day.

I was so exhausted from making life and death decisions for my friend, answering social workers and countless other people what her situation was. On the phone with my husband, he gave me the strength I needed by cracking jokes and then staying on the line and not hanging up. I was transported back in time to when we were dating, and he cared and wanted to be with me.

I felt refreshed after the phone call. It was exactly what I needed.

After following her ambulance to the other hospital, I settled her in for the night and went home. The next day my friend got the surgery she needed, and she has been recuperating ever since. I’m exhausted from spending a full week at the hospital, and I’m glad things are sort of back to normal.

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20 Responses to “The Life-Giving Phone Call”

  1. Katie says:

    What a sweet friend you are, loving the way Jesus does, sacrificially! It is not easy, but with the Lord’s strength and grace, we can do it. Thanks for exemplifying love to all of us!

  2. Melissa says:

    What an amazing revelation you got to experience going through this process with your friend!

  3. Taylor says:

    Thank you for caring for your friend. I’m sure she will have quite the testimony about the grace and love you extended toward her. And how sweet of your husband to call!

  4. Erin says:

    God is amazing how He can whisper a calm revelation in the midst of seeming chaos.

  5. Alice Mills says:

    God provided her with you as her comforting angel right when she needed it. It must feel good to know that you and He partnered so well!

  6. Julie says:

    What a loving friend you are, Susan! Your friend was blessed to have you there. Pain is much more tolerable when we have a friend to encourage us.

  7. Stephanie says:

    It’s a very delicate balance between all of the aspects of life that are competing for your time, attention and energy. Only by sticking close to God and trusting him will we be able to keep that balance and order in life. It’s a blessing to hear you were able to be with your friend and work through the situation with your husband rather than against him.

  8. Ann (Neethu) says:

    Truly you went an extra-mile, like Jesus.
    “I saw the cross in a new light, and I felt that Jesus was shining out of my face.” amen. Through struggles and sacrificial love we get new revelations of what Our Saviour has done for us.

  9. Kristi says:

    What a blessing you were to your friends this time and the other. Selflessly giving of your time and focusing so much so on others that Jesus was noticed by the attending nurse!

    And what a blessing your husband’s phone call was! After frustrating moments a breath of fresh air like that is such a lift to the heart.

  10. Donna Miller says:

    You are such a sweet and loving friend. I understand what you mean by your hubbies phone call being life giving. Love this! ❤

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