Two weeks ago I had a scheduled appointment to have a couple more suspicious looking moles removed. Feeling slightly uneasy to the point of nausea… I sat on the table half naked waiting for the doctor to appear. Those few moments felt like an eternity as I imagined them filleting me open like a fish and leaving my body marred. I had already had to have a couple pre-cancerous ones removed. One of which took at least a year to heal. They took a large chunk of flesh and, although the mark is finally fading, it is still a reminder of what was cut out of me. I was dreading the inevitable.
Then a second doctor arrived.
Then something miraculous happened…
I didn’t have to have them cut.
It was the general consensus amongst the doctors that my moles looked fine. Better. Improved.
Can this happen?
I wasn’t arguing.
I was ecstatic. Maybe I wasn’t such damaged goods after all.
This was cause to celebrate.
I bought new underwear and ate a giant burger and spent a lazy day with my husband, free of pain and holes.
Was this a miracle? A freak phenomenon? A coincidence? A tender mercy?
I’m not sure, but my mind has been preoccupied with the notion of “tender mercies” lately.
Maybe it’s because I want so desperately to believe in something greater than myself, that there is a divine being in charge up there.
I've been in a strange place lately questioning things that I once believed. I can no longer rely on others. I want to know these things for myself. I want signs.
I remember listening to a talk by David Bednar in which he defined tender mercies…. “ very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ.”
I think so often in life we are granted these sweet tender mercies, yet fail to recognize or acknowledge them. We go about our days and focus on the mishaps and the frustrations and don’t stop to really reflect on the blessings. Would we notice them more if they were life altering?
I believe that we are all granted tender mercies… in small, subtle ways every single day.
the unexpected smile from a stranger on a trying day
a note from a long lost friend
a beautiful sunset
selfless acts of service among siblings
beautiful days at the park with loved ones
a kind email or fb “how are you?”
anonymous goodies left on your front porch
I challenge you to take a look around. Don’t let the tender mercies in your life go unnoticed.