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Under His Wings

Authored by Mary Ellen Courville

I sat and stared up at the third floor of Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center trying to imagine which room Grace, my 22-year-old, was in. She was waiting for the doctor to explain the results of the MRI from the day before, and due to pandemic protocol, I was unable to be with her to ensure everyone’s safety.

I could barely see the blurring words of the Bible in my lap that I was reading and re-reading. It was open to Psalm 91. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” I prayed, Lord, please be in this appointment with Grace; let her know that she is not alone.

My phone pinged. Grace texted, “I see you.” She sent me a picture, her view, looking down on the spot where I was parked.

I looked up, up, up at the building again. I saw a figure in the window on the third floor, directly below the Cancer Center’s bold-lettered name. I re-read the verse my Bible was opened to “…under his wings you will find refuge.”

I stared at the figure in the window, right below the larger than life word “Bird.”

I started laughing. God knows me. He knows that I need really clear affirmation that He’s listening, and this was as clear as a big, red Bird.

“God, I hear you. Thank you! Grace is safe. You’ve got her, right beneath your wings.”

Just last year, Grace had a benign tumor removed surgically. Now on this day, God blessed us with another miraculous appointment. The gracious doctor even let a nervous mama be present via FaceTime to share that the new pancreatic mass was actually a pseudocyst, meaning it was non-cancerous.

Yes, it’s three times larger than last year’s benign tumor, but it’s not in any way cancer. “Praise Jesus! We have options, and she will be able to heal from this.”

Finally, Grace exited the building and made her way to the car where I was waiting. When I eventually released her from the clamp of my hug, I pointed out my view of her room. I told her about God’s feathers and her position right beneath the Bird in “Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.”

She said, “Oh Mom, the office was several doors down. That wasn’t me that you saw in the window.”

I smiled. That’s okay. In that window, I saw an answer to my prayers, the assurance that God had Grace under his wings the whole time, regardless of which room she happened to be in.

To all of those doctors and nurses out there walking through pandemic protocol every day, I am praying Psalm 91 for you now. For all of the other patients, who, like Grace, are walking into challenging appointments alone, I am praying Psalm 91 for you too. I pray that God will cover you with his feathers and give you his shelter and strength under his wings.