Thank You for Your Prayers …

Just a word of deepest-felt gratitude for those of you who offered your support and prayers regarding my deposition yesterday. The strength of your prayers were felt and experienced in a deep way, one which I consider in many ways to be miraculous.

The deposition itself went well, as best I can judge. My attorney was very pleased (and quite relieved, I suspect) with the way it progressed, and believes I made a very strong case for my defense, neither ceding any ground to the plaintiff’s attorney nor making any grievous missteps which might come back to haunt you later in the courtroom.

That it seemed to proceed so well is no small miracle in and of itself — my attorney was present at the deposition of one of the other physicians being sued, and felt it went very poorly indeed for the defendant, with lots of bad body language, evasiveness, fidgeting, and argumentativeness by the physician with the plaintiff’s attorney. My attorney’s preparation on such matters had been excellent, which was of course a great asset.

The real miracle — as is so often the case with prayer — came within the heart. After my prep last week I was nearly hysterical, panicking about the need the prepare for a hostile interrogation in the midst of of very busy schedule, which included a weekend on call last week. All sorts of calamities were imagined, immediately becoming in my mind an inevitable reality, with much resulting anxiety, depression, anger, resentments, and sleeplessness. The world looked very black indeed.

As Thursday drew near, all this changed, rather dramatically. My work schedule was nowhere near as frantic as anticipated; the call weekend was busy but I had a long sustained period on Sunday to focus on the litigant’s chart and clarify the events of my care in detail — including several things in my defense which I had previously overlooked.

The cavalry, meanwhile, came charging over the hill, leaving a cloud of dust in their wake: my wife and her prayer ministry partners were recruited; my dear office nurse, a devout believer and prayer warrior prayed and fasted with her partners. Many other friends — and strangers — volunteered their calls to the Almighty. Psalm 27 became my own prayer:

The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

By Tuesday most of the insanity had left, although I was still quite anxious. By Wednesday, I was actually looking forward to the opportunity to present my case. By Thursday, there was — astoundingly — no anxiety whatsoever. When I walked into the conference room, I had no anger, no resentment against the attorney who was questioning me and challenging me, was able to see him as someone doing his best to defend an unfortunate child with a serious illness, and was entirely comfortable with where I was and what I had done, and actually enjoyed much of it, with some humor and a real sense of ease. Best exchange of the morning:

Plaintiff’s attorney: “Doctor, did you know what was causing this patient’s urinary tract infections?”

Me: [pause] “Bacteria.”

Plaintiff’s attorney: [shaking his head] “Umm, I guess I walked into that one, didn’t I?”

Me: [smiling, nodding] “Yeah.”

All caught on videotape. Sweet.

The point here is that I was not myself. I could not, in my own ability, have been so comfortable, at ease, so at peace, so joyful even, as I was yesterday morning. That was a gift — and I am indebted ever so deeply to those of you who made that gift possible.

Thank you again from the very bottom of my heart.

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3 thoughts on “Thank You for Your Prayers …

  1. That put in mind of this poem by Gary Snyder that I haven’t thought about for years.

    John Muir on Mt. Ritter

    After scanning its face again and again,
    I began to scale it, picking my holds
    With intense caution. About half-way
    To the top, I was suddenly brought to
    A dead stop, with arms outspread
    Clinging close to the face of the rock
    Unable to move hand or foot
    Either up or down. My doom
    Appeared fixed. I MUST fall.
    There would be a moment of
    Bewilderment, and then,
    A lifeless rumble down the cliff
    To the glacier below.
    My mind seemed to fill with a
    Stifling smoke. This terrible eclipse
    Lasted only a moment, when life blazed
    Forth again with preternatural clearness.

    I seemed suddenly to become possessed
    Of a new sense. My trembling muscles
    Became firm again, every rift and flaw in
    The rock was seen as through a microscope,
    My limbs moved with a positiveness and precision
    With which I seemed to have
    Nothing at all to do.

    — Gary Snyder

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