I remember the moment like it was yesterday. It was 2 p.m. on a Thursday when I thought being able to handle my busy schedule was really important. My so-called busy schedule met a brick wall.
The doctor’s office was cool and quiet, and the window shades were closed to block some sunlight. An icy shiver went through my whole body, but at the same time, I was sweating so badly that my clothing seemed soaked. The clock on the wall seemed to stop and my mind raced with a hundred thoughts, but I couldn’t focus on a single one. I was very busy at my company, my son had a baseball game that night, my “to-do” list was a block long, but none of that mattered now. The pain in my back that I thought was a pulled muscle … wasn’t.
Following an electrocardiogram and cardiac catheterization, the doctor’s words felt like being hit with an ice-cold wet towel in the face: “An almost-total blockage in a major artery.” There were no options. He hoped to get me into surgery in time. My thoughts came back to the same question: “Why me, why now?”
“Mrs. Smith” had a nagging pain in her right side. She had just had her annual checkup with her doctor, so she passed it off as “getting older” and too much yard work. It became worse, and she went back to the doctor. Tests determined that her pain was a secondary cancer site. More tests found growths and internal organs already affected. Immediate surgery was needed. She had never been sick or debilitated before that. She was always healthy and active and her family relied on her so much. Her inner tape of her deepest fears kept playing over and over: ”What will happen to me and my family? Why me? Why now?”
“Ned Williams” had been retired for many years and had been alone for five years since his beloved wife was called home by the Lord. Ned was a simple man and worked for many years at the same trade. He had lived in the same town and the same house since he was a small boy. He didn’t have a lot, but managed to get by on his small retirement. His children lived far away. Due to many reasons — the economy, the family having their own needs and even an estranged daughter he had not spoken to for many years — Ned was alone.
He had fallen several times and sustained injuries including a broken hip. His neighbors were good people who brought him groceries and came by occasionally to check on him, but they had their own lives. Ned was confined, felt so alone and wanted so much to see his children and grandchildren. He was feeling more depressed each day. His inner fears of being alone kept repeating over and over again. He was having thoughts about being better off not being around anymore. He kept thinking over and over, “What can I do? Why me? Why now?”
There are so many who ask the question “Why me? Why now?” every day right here in our community! There are people trying to cope with many types of crisis. There are so many issues, like the ones above, as well as job loss, military separation, abuse, grief and anger management, incarceration, pregnancy and child birth, relocation, struggling with faith, hospice and many more.
If you or someone you know could use the help of Stephen Minister in a one-on-one, confidential, gender-sensitive, compassionate and caring, faith-driven relationship, call 320-7840 for an appointment.
To learn more about the global Stephen Program, visit stephennministry.org.
Scherer is a crisis intervention minister and the leader of the local Stephen Ministry.