A long night of uncertainty


A long night of uncertainty

Last summer, Nesbitt, my 9-year-old Labrador retriever, started coughing and breathing heavily. I wasn’t sure what was causing his discomfort; but just in case, decided to check it with the vet. After the initial examination, she delivered dreadful totally unexpected news, “We still need to run a few more tests, but this is very serious… You can bring him back tomorrow, but I cannot guarantee that he will be still alive.” She then referred us to the overnight emergency veterinary clinic in the nearby city… It was silent drive to the clinic as the news was settling in. There were still so many unanswered questions. How serious it is? Is it treatable? Are we going to lose such a beautiful puppy, with a wonderful personality, which shined so often during his ministry in the schools and the parish?

After arrival to the emergency, the doctor on duty took care of Nesbitt immediately. Due to the COVID restrictions we weren’t allowed inside; so, I was pacing in the parking lot all night. It was a long night of uncertainty… The doctor would come out every so often with the updates. She diagnosed a collapsed lung and tried to stabilize him by extracting air from his stomach. However, in order to save his life, he would need immediate invasive and extended surgery.

It was indeed a long night… Amidst of worries and uncertainty, deep inside I knew and believed that everything would somehow be ok. The next morning we brought him to the emergency veterinary hospital in Toronto and the following day he was on the operating table. The surgery was successful and after a few weeks of recovery Nesbitt was back to himself, once again full of life and mischief.

How many times in life do we experience those long nights of uncertainty? Maybe we are waiting for the result of a medical procedure and we are uncertain what the diagnosis will be. Maybe we are waiting for a phone call after that interview for a dream job. Maybe we are waiting for the results of a test which will determine our passing grades. Life is full of those long nights of uncertainty…

Even John the Baptist in this weekend’s Gospel expresses anxiety seeking clear answers. “When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”” (Matthew 11:2-3)

Jesus answers, as usual in an indirect manner, “Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.”” (Matthew 11:4-5) Basically saying to John’s disciples, “Open your eyes and see the hand of God in all happenings… Trust and surrender!” Isn’t that precisely the message of the Advent season?

When you are in the midst of a long night of uncertainty, recall the assurance of Advent message. The Lord is near, wait in hope, trust and surrender.

By Jarek Pachocki, OMI
OMI Lacombe Canada – Vocation Director