I lay the ring on the dresser which faced the bed. Each evening as I returned from the hospital in Calgary and entered the room, it would catch the corner of my eye, a haunting reminder that my husband’s life still hung precariously in the balance. For weeks it lay there alone. Who could know that this inanimate object could awaken such a gnawing fear in the pit of my stomach? Would he ever wear it again? His fingers were so swollen that it wouldn’t fit anyway. Would I ever get to put it back on him, and would he even be conscious of me doing it? Would he ever wake up from his coma?
“With this ring, I thee wed,” we both repeated after the minister, then embarked upon a journey that would challenge that statement time and time again. Sicknesses and peril would often be our lot and the “’til death do we part” seemed a constant, looming threat of potential reality. Serving as missionaries in Haiti had seen to that. But this crisis would be the ultimate test. It far surpassed the hepatitis, typhoid, kidnapping, and other near-death experiences. It was like the monster under the bed that kept threatening to come out and finish its work.
It’s been almost two years to the day. That 4th of July had certainly brought fireworks, but those of an almost destructive kind. Prit did wake up. After seven weeks of the most gut-wrenching kind of prayer I’ve ever experienced, coupled with the aid of “round-the-clock” intercession that would eventually include a throng of thousands that circled the globe, our “Sleeping Beauty” (as we had dubbed him), finally woke up.
“Can I put this ring back on my husband’s finger now?” I asked the wide-eyed nurse practitioner. He had been stunned to see that my husband, not only woke up, but was still in his right mind. This same man had told me, “Even if your husband wakes up, he will never be the same man again. His brain damage is extensive and the man you knew will not be the same man again cognitively.” Time and prayer had proven him wrong and his face betrayed the avalanche of thoughts that were sweeping through his mind as he gazed at me.
“Can I put this ring back on his finger now?” I asked again.
Like a lightning bolt, there was the sudden realization in his face that what we had been fighting for in prayer all along had suddenly come to fruition. The seemingly futile attempts of praying over my husband’s silent form and the reading of God’s Word to him, almost without ceasing, had yielded its harvest.
“Yes, you can,” he replied. The slow, but sure dawning in his eyes revealed that he had been caught off guard and forced to face the fact that, what seemed to be the inevitable, had actually been reversed by agonizing, violent prayer. Prit was going to be alright. I knew it and he knew it.