The pastor stands before the communion table at the front of the church, his face solemn, his Bible in his hand. The organ plays soft background music as the elders stand, listening intently to the pastor read, “This do in remembrance of me.”

I listen as I’ve listened a thousand times before. And dutifully, I remember all the Bible stories I have read about Jesus. I remember what I know of the gospels. I remember that a couple thousand years ago, He rose from the dead. Old history. I’ve known it all my life. My mind can now fast forward through the gospels as my VCR fast forwards through movie portions that no longer hold my interest, reviewing the life of Christ from His birth to His death, to His resurrection and ascension. I have remembered Him.

I have remembered this Christ who came to live in my life when I was just a little girl. But remembering when I first accepted Him, reminds me of that night. I remember running from the church to my bedroom in the parsonage next door and lying on my bed, crying as the reality of Christ entered my life. I remember that two days later, my mother asked me why I was being so “good.” I couldn’t answer her then. I didn’t have the words to explain how I had become a new creature in Christ. And so, privately, I kept that information to myself. But I remember.

I remember many years later, lying on the table in the delivery room. The doctor has ordered a sedative for me to put me to sleep. He wants my mind off the activity at the table across the room where a hastily summoned pediatrician is frantically working, surrounded by a horde of intense nurses. I look at the clock but my eyes are blurry. I think it’s been eight minutes since she was born. I can’t tell for sure. She has made no sound, I have heard no cry. I lean back. The medicine is taking effect but I fight sleep, waiting to here that first sound from my baby. None has come. “Lord,” I pray, “don’t let my baby die.”

It is a minute or two later when I hear a soft half cough/half cry. The pediatrician grabs the baby to take her to intensive care. He sees me, surprised to see I am still awake. He holds her out for me to see as they leave for the nursery but he does not pause. My eyes are too blurry. I would not recognize her again.

Several hours later, I hold her in my arms with a surprised pediatrician standing next to me. He tells me “for a baby that was born dead with dislocated hips, she is doing remarkably well.” I may take her home in two days.

I remember.

Years later, in another hospital, in another neonatal intensive care unit, there is another baby. My son. He was born with respiratory problems and a heart condition. For several days now, the doctors have been doing everything possible to help him in his fight to breath. Medication has been given to stabilize his heart and he has fought so hard that today, they have told me, he might be strong enough to nurse. We might be able to take away the feeding tube. But I have arrived this morning and I see through the window that he does not look well. Tubes and IV’s that had previously been removed are back again. His color is not good and he lies there asleep, exhausted.

The nurse comes out to explain to me that he is too tired to eat. He has fought for days now and his little body just does not have the energy to fight anymore. They must keep him alive by artificial means and let him rest. Suddenly, with this new crisis I feel the fear for my baby now overwhelming me. I can no longer cope but I cannot let these strangers see this. I merely nod and return to my car where I can have privacy. For days my church has been praying, my aunt’s church has been praying, my parent’s church has been praying – and I have been coping. Now, I, too, pray. “Dear God, if ever there has been anything that I have done that is worthy of your favor, that is worthy of some reward from you, then I ask that you give that favor and that reward to my son. Whatever favor I have earned, show to him now.” I am too tired. I am not thinking coherently nor talking coherently but my God hears and understands. Slowly, I regain control and the ability to cope. I must return to my son. He is just a baby and needs me.

It has been nearly 30 minutes since I left the neonatal intensive care unit. As I enter the unit, a nurse is walking briskly past me with a bottle in her hand. “There you are!” she exclaims. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you. About 20 minutes ago, he perked up and started screaming to be fed. I think he would be able to nurse now if you would like to try.”

I remember.

Time has past and now my oldest son is 13 and having some difficulty with his Christian stand. Friends of his came to church on Sunday. They sat right behind him and saw him pray. He is 13 and these types of things embarrass him and make him angry.
Now it is Wednesday evening and we are on our way home. He has come to church reluctantly but without verbal complaint and I have heard no further complaints about friends this evening. Our trip home is interrupted by the sudden, unexpected wheezing sound from my four-year-old daughter. I am shocked. It’s been months since she has had an asthma attack. What could possibly have brought one on now? The hay fever season has not begun and her class has had nothing for snack that could have brought on an attack.

She wants to sit beside me but her brother is there. She wheezes harder when he objects. I order him to give her his seat. Give her anything she wants but keep her calm. My 13-year-old is sitting in the passenger seat up front. I tell him to hold her and keep her quiet. He pulls her on his lap and softly begins telling her a story. He has seen me quiet her before. He knows what to do.

My mind races over possible solutions to this new crisis. We have just moved and I have just changed jobs. We have no insurance. I cannot afford an emergency room. I have some medicine at home to stop the wheezing, maybe that will help. At home, I find the medicine has past it’s expiration date. I call the doctor, seeking over the counter solutions since all pharmacies have closed at this hour. He is not optimistic but says I can try a certain medication. I will have to go to the grocery store to see if they have it. I go down to her room where my son is sitting on the side of her bed keeping her quiet and comforting her. I motion to him, explaining the situation. He understands to keep her quiet, call 911 if she suddenly gets worse and I will be back in 15 minutes. I walk up the stairs to the front door. I can still here her wheezing. I hesitate. Maybe the emergency room will bill me; maybe I should not leave. I hear my son talking to her. I leave running.

I dash into the store to the medicine aisle. I scan things quickly – too quickly. I have to stop and look again. They have it! I grab it, streak through the check-out lane to pay and run to the car exceeding the speed limit on the way home. There is no ambulance in the driveway. I enter the door but hear no wheezing. My son is singing a nursery rhyme. Puzzled, I go downstairs to her room. She is lying on the bed and smiles at me. “Boy, do you sound better!” I tell her.

My 13-year-old speaks up in the tone of voice designed for a young child, “We prayed to Jesus to ask Him to make her better and He did.”

I stare at him, surprised. He has obviously solved his crisis in his Christian walk. I am glad but still puzzled by my daughter’s sudden unexpected improvement. Never has this happened before. Emergency rooms and mist treatments are almost always necessities for her during these attacks. I look at my daughter. She smiles and nods, assuring me she is well now. “I’m all better now,” she tells me. I do not believe.

“Take a deep breath.” She complies. There is no wheezing. I feel her glands. They are not swollen. She has no fever.

“Does your throat hurt?”


”Does your tummy hurt?”


”Do you think you’re going to throw up?”


All of these symptoms occur routinely with an asthma attack but she has none of them now. I look at them both again, studying them.

“Well, I bought this medicine. You’re taking it anyway,” I tell her. Sometimes, as the spiritual leader of the family, I am not the greatest.

But I remember.

Now, as the pastor instructs the elders to pass the elements, I remember something else about the life of Christ. “By His stripes we are healed.” Healed emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. Our families are healed, are finances are healed, our bodies are healed through Him. Once again, I look through the gospels from the birth of Christ, to His death, to His resurrection, to now.

Ancient history. Current history.

“This do in remembrance of me.”

I remember. Thank you.

* * * * *

by C.J Henderson

(This article cannot be reprinted without the express permission of the author)

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