My little joint stays swollen, so the doctor orders an MRI today.
Stripped down, wrapped in warm blankets, and encased in strange foam to hold me in place, I enter the dark tunnel.
The MRI, I’m told by a technician who smiles kindly, will take one hour.
One hour? What will I do for one hour inside that machine? And I just finished two cups of coffee! “You’re kidding, right?” I say and give the technician a wide smile. “I thought this thing takes a couple of minutes. And it’s just this little finger,” I remind him and wiggle it in front of him.
“No. It takes an hour,” he confirms.
I think of what I could accomplish in one hour. What a waste!
They put earphones on my head to pipe in music of my choice, but the channel turns to static (just my luck!). The machine growls and grunts at 2 minute intervals, and I feel like I’m being launched into space.
When I tell my body to stay still, it responds with twitches. When I tell my hand to just calm down, it won’t.
The command to be still challenges me to the very ligaments and tendons of my being.
Finally, I relax. Without distraction, I visualize each member of my family and pray for them by name. I pray for my neighbors. I pray for myself. I start worshiping God in this bizarre place. Suddenly, I’m having the kind of conversation with God I’ve been longing for, and it took me being practically mummified to hold me still long enough to face him.
An hour passes, and they come and pull me out, unwrap me, and release me back to my life. Within minutes, I’m driving in traffic I can hardly navigate. It’s all frenzy and lights: cell phone ringing, clocks flashing, and bodies moving. I can’t think straight.
All I want to do is go home to my bed, wrap myself in blankets, and get back to that space where I learned to be still.
Journal: When was I really still today?