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A Hymn and a Prayer

A nervous patient and her mother seek comfort in prayer before a mammogram.

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Was there anything I dreaded more than my annual mammogram?

I could never get through it without my mother. Having her with me in the waiting room gave me the courage to face the exam. But this year she was out of town.

“I’ll be thinking of you, honey,” she told me that morning. “I’ll be praying at exactly ten a.m.”

I appreciated the phone call, but it wasn’t the same as having her right there with me. On my way out the door I sat down at the piano to calm my nerves. I played “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” one of Mom’s favorite hymns. “This flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air, Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere…” I left the house with the words of the hymn still echoing inside my head.

I looked down at my watch as I walked into the clinic: 10:00 a.m. An instrumental flute piece played in the waiting room. Where had I heard it before? Of course! Right at 10:00 a.m., Mom’s favorite hymn played on the wings of her prayers.

She might not have been in the waiting room to hold my hand, but I felt her presence with me just the same.

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