Maryam “Mimi” has her surgery tomorrow

Maryam went to Sheba Medical Center looking like Cinderella in a blue and white dress. This afternoon the hospital called to say please bring Maryam for surgery tomorrow, so there was a rush for Maryam’s mum, Sara, to pack and get herself and Maryam ready. The other families, most of whom have been through surgery now and know well how it feels, all helped Sara to get everything together that she’ll need for this time: sugar, tea, bread, biscuits, and a random role of paper toweling, were among the items the other mother’s packed for her.

Sara has been anticipating this day for a long time. Her daughter Maryam, or “Mimi,” does not like the hospital. As we waited for the room to be ready, Mimi was her normal self: pacing up and down the hallway or watching YouTube videos. At one point, Mimi saw another waiting mom at the hospital go off to pray, so Mimi also, right there in the hallway, knelt down, pressed her hands together in front of her face, and started praying too.

As we walked the halls, her mum told me that Mimi often says, “God will make a surgery of my heart” and in bringing them here he has done that. Tomorrow He will be with them and with the surgeons in the operating room. But it also amazed me that in that one sentence, this little two year old basically analogized the Gospel: it’s God doing heart surgery on us.

When the hospital room was ready, we went up to the sixth floor. Immediately Maryam began to have a catastrophic melt down, even though she did not yet have to face the cannula. The rooms, the tests, the doctors all scare her, and only her mother can bring her some semblance of peace. She cried so much that when the nurse left, she fell asleep. She drifted into sleep gazing up at her mother’s face and stroking her cheek. Sara and I prayed together afterwards for the surgery and the future, for the fear, and for full healing. In the words of Mimi, ‘God will make a surgery on my heart,’ and if He is for us, who can be against us?