He looked so sad when I first saw him. He was quite a few years older than I, but like I did dur­ing my first days in that im­per­sonal hos­pi­tal ward, he felt scared and wor­ried.

My bed was on the other side of the room, but I gave him a re­as­sur­ing smile. “It will be all right.” But he turned away, closed his eyes, and pre­tended he was asleep.

A hos­pi­tal is a strange place. All pa­tients are on the same level; ev­ery­one faces a com­mon en­emy— fear. What’s wrong with me? Will I get bet­ter? Will the op­er­a­tion be suc­cess­ful?

Later that day, I again tried talk­ing with my fel­low pa­tient. I’d al­ready been there for nearly two weeks and was start­ing to feel like a vet­eran.

“Why are you here?” I asked.

He looked so de­spon­dent, I al­most felt bad I had asked. Then he softly an­swered: “I was go­ing on hol­i­day. Car was in front of the door. I went to use the bath­room one last time. That’s when I saw the blood …”

He fid­geted with the hos­pi­tal sheet. “And now I’m here in­stead of in a ho­tel in France with my wife. I feel like jump­ing out of the win­dow.”

Right then the doc­tor stepped in with a solemn face and told my new friend: “Mr. Wil­liams, your surgery is sched­uled for first thing to­mor­row.”

When the doc­tor left, I could tell he was in the depths of de­spair. He didn’t want to talk any­more and pre­tended to be asleep again.

Sud­denly I felt the nudge of God’s Spirit.

Write a few verses from Psalm 91 on a card and give it to him be­fore he goes to surgery.

Psalm 91? What if he doesn’t be­lieve in You, Lord? Just do it! So I did. The nurse gave him the card the next morn­ing be­fore wheel­ing him out. The op­er­a­tion was a suc­cess. And so was the card. When I talked to him the next day, he said: “Thank you so much for those won­der­ful words. They gave me so much strength. Did you write that?

“No,” I an­swered, “God did. They’re from the Bi­ble.”

“Amaz­ing…” he mum­bled, then he smiled. “Maybe I need to read that book for my­self.”

Surely He shall de­liver you from the snare of the fowler and from the per­ilous pesti­lence. He shall cover you with His feath­ers, and un­der His wings you shall take refuge.— Psalm 91:3–4

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