Recently in a two week period, I was scheduled to lead Worship Service on the first Sunday, give a presentation to a group of retired teachers during the following week, read the Scriptures for the next Sunday service and then give a different presentation to another group of teachers. All of these in some way included some sort of testimony to the presence of God in our small ordinary lives.
I enjoy both the preparation and presentation for all of these kinds of things, so I was happily gathering material and pulling it together on the computer prior to printing it.
The last presentation involved collecting and printing photographs for visuals to accompany the text. Mid-way in preparing these, my computer became very erratic, sometimes slowing down to a crawl, sometimes losing the material, and then the printer began to stop after a few lines and go to the next page, then eventually to shadow print the text in different colors.
By the day before the last presentation, I was a basket case and my husband had to take time off work to rescue me using his computer.
I had for a couple of months been having sporadic gushing nosebleeds lasting up to two hours. In desperation, two days before the last presentation, my ENT had done an extreme cauterization in my nose, which stopped the bleeding but left my nose dripping so much that I had to tie a bandanna around my head to keep my nose from dripping on the materials I was collating.
As I was picturing trying to give a talk wearing a bandanna wrapped around my head and under my nose, my sinus problem and probably stress set off inner ear dizziness and nausea. This became so severe that periodically I was having to lie down to keep from falling or vomiting.
The stress from this then triggered my Irritable Bowel Syndrome, sending me to the bathroom multiple times at warp speed. At seventy-seven, I also tend to have bladder problems when I cough or sneeze or laugh, so as the day wore on I began to consider all the possibilities for total humiliation and to wonder if God was possibly telling me to not give this presentation.
So, I sat down with my Book of Daily Devotions to check out what the one for the next day might say. This sentence immediately stood out, “God honors those with radical risk taking faith.”
My first thoughts were of my grandson teaching in Afghanistan and my son teaching orphans who are HIV positive in Cambodia. My presentation was about the orphans and the volunteers from all over the world that come to help them. Then it dawned on me. Surely, risking spurting blood, dripping mucus, falling down or vomiting, or possibly even peeing or pooping in public while giving a talk about helping the helpless qualifies, at least, as risk taking faith.
So, I trusted God enough to go ahead with the presentation, but hedged my bets by not eating or drinking anything before hand and clutching one of my husband’s large white handkerchiefs the whole time I was speaking.
I do believe. Help thou my unbelief.