8Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Hope is especially hard to come these days as COVID and other problems tie our lives in knots and put us and the people we love at risk.
But Psalms remind us hope is not lost. Hope dwells in those verses even for those most in doubt. And there are times that has included me.
About 10 years ago I was wrestling with sudden bouts of severe vertigo as the result of Meniere’s, an inner ear condition that can cause vertigo and hearing loss, usually in one ear. A hearing aid took care of the hearing loss, but the vertigo was another matter.
At the time a good friend and I would regularly watch Packer games at his home in Fredonia, a small town 25 miles from Milwaukee. After a Sunday night game, I felt a bit off when I left his house and headed home but figured I’d be OK.
A few minutes later I started feeling disoriented and miles from home late at night, I figured I had to tough it out. But it got worse and now I was desperate. The highway was dark and lonely and pulling over to the side seemed equally risky. Finally, I saw a gas station/convenience store and pulled in. But when I got out of the car, I immediately felt extremely dizzy, got back in and laid down on the seat.
Then I started hoping — and as I think about it now probably praying — that someone would see me lying on the seat, figure I was either sick — or, yes, intoxicated — and call a police officer. No dice and finally I decided to go inside.
As I walked in I came face to face with a uniformed police officer leaving the store carrying a sandwich! That’s right. A police officer!
“Officer, I’m not drunk!” I blurted out, figured he had seen me weaving. “I have Meniere’s and I’m having an attack of vertigo!”
Imagine my shock when he said his sister-in-law also happened to have Meniere’s and asked what he could do. I told him I needed to get a restroom fast and he stayed by my side until I did.
It was just in time before a horrible wave of nausea struck. I remember sitting on the floor of a stall for maybe 15 or 20 minutes waiting for my vertigo to clear when I heard his voice.
“Sir, it’s the Port Washington police officer. Are you OK?” He had been waiting just outside the men’s room all that time.
He asked if I had a phone and when I said yes, he told me to call the Port Washington police if I needed any more help. I did not and got home safe on that cold, snowy, scary night.
So, was the police officer being at the right place at the right time an answer to a prayer or just sheer coincidence?
The Psalms would say it was hope and prayer. And that’s good enough for me.