Vanilla Ice Cream
My doctor’s squiggles, all two pages of orders on how I should be admitted/treated in the hospital, are difficult to read. I don’t even attempt to decipher the hieroglyphics. But three words leap out of the pages: vanilla ice cream. I dismiss them as eye trick. After all, I have never been a big fan of vanilla ice cream.
So I get settled in what could be a nice room had it not been in a hospital, with a nurse who immediately barks orders for me to gulp half a bottle of laxative! “The next half should be taken after an hour. One more bottle after that.”
(The medical procedures in the morning require a super clean tummy and colon.)
“No solid food for 12 hours,” she adds.
“What?!” I panic. But I am hungry.
“Except vanilla ice cream,” her lips break into a smile.
No thanks. I realize the three words I read are not an eye trick; my doctor really means vanilla ice cream! Of all the ice-cream flavors in the world, he has to choose the one I dislike.
But after ten thousand trips to the bathroom, my tummy begs for food. So Tony promptly goes out to buy me vanilla ice cream, his excuse to leave a whining, groaning bundle of nerves.
He comes back with two cones. Without missing a beat, I prepare to tackle one. At that point I was prepared to eat dust.
Grudgingly, I say good-bye to what could make the vanilla ice cream bearable, and bring the white stuff inside my mouth.
And I hear violins . . . heavenly sounds that match the heavenly taste of the yummiest thing that has ever landed on my tongue.
The melodious strings are joined by a full orchestra and angel voices as I wolf down the second cone. Ahhh . . .
I am back home now, thanking God for holding my hand during the whole ordeal. I am still groggy from the anesthesia and lack of proper sleep. The results are not exactly excellent, but non-life-threatening. Through the 24-hour harrowing experience, there is one blissful thought: vanilla ice cream.
I’ve always known that grace comes to us in various forms. But I didn’t know it comes in cones, too. Now I do.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (ESV)