“Mama, the nurse at the desk said you and Daddy had been moved to a different ward, and there wasn’t a phone. She told me to call back in a few minutes, and she would make sure you were by the phone, ready to talk. What’s going on? Why did they move y’all?”
“Well darlin’” she said in a docile voice, almost a whisper, “I’m sure it’s all a misunderstanding, and they’ll have us back in a ‘regular’ room soon.”
Misunderstanding? Regular room?
My Mom and Dad had been sharing a room at the local hospital while they were recuperating from bronchitis and pneumonia, respectively. Why on earth had they been moved to a “ward” rather than their own room? Why didn’t they have a phone?
“Phones aren’t allowed where we are now, darlin’”
“But Mama, why not? Where are you?”
“Well, honey, they have us in the psychiatric ward. We don’t have phones, and are only allowed outside this ward when the nurse comes to get us. We’re locked in.”
WHAT?!?!?! The psych ward???? Locked in???
“Mama, tell them to move y’all back, NOW!”
I’m not sure exactly which brother I called first, but the conversation went something like this:
“Mama and Daddy are locked up in the psych ward!! How are we going to get them out?? They can’t stay there. They’re physically sick, not mentally unstable!”
I’m not sure the sequence of events, or what was said, but my oldest brother and my uncle (my Mama’s brother), went to the hospital. The brothers – mine and hers – “persuaded” the staff of the error that was made by locking up my parents. In my uncle’s words:
“somehow the back door to the wing got held open while I moved my car around and that is the end of that story. Your Mama and Daddy slept in their own bed at home that night. Don’t believe they ever had the pleasure of being invited in to the ‘loony’ unit again!”
They skedaddled! What a get away!
Life is like that sometimes. You’re thrown into a fight or flight situation. But what if neither fight nor flight is an option?
My mom may have initially been upset when she and Daddy were “incarcerated,” but she quickly realized that remaining calm was her best option – possibly her only option. However, I’m pretty sure she was praying without ceasing during this whole ordeal!
Scripture gives us a wonderful promise for times like these:
“The LORD will fight for you; you must be quiet.” Exodus 14:14
Sometimes we must speak up. Sometimes, the words bubbling up, about to erupt out of our mouths, will serve no useful purpose. They will only cause turmoil or pain. Those are the times we must let the Lord fight for us.
Father, thank You that You stand willing and able to fight our battles! Help us, Lord, to keep our mouths shut when our words will harm rather than heal. In Jesus powerful name, Amen
Grace be with you,