It was Good Friday. My house looked more like a set for "Rescue 911" than a place of solemn preparation for the pinnacle of the church year.
Barbara, my wife of 15 years, had just gotten home at 3 a.m. after a long shift as a registered nurse at a physical rehabilitation hospital. Her heart started to pound more than a hundred beats a minute. Her pulse raced so fast we couldn't measure it. We tried massage and relaxation exercises, but nothing helped. She said her heart felt as if it were going to explode. Desperate, I called 911.
In the darkness, the emergency medical services unit arrived in our parsonage living room and worked on my normally healthy, 43-year-old wife.
I followed the ambulance to the hospital, my thoughts as heavy as my foot was on the gas pedal. In the early morning hours when many churches would sing "Go to Dark Gethsemane" and reflect on Christ's agony on the cross, I was deep in my own darkness. Barbara had always been the trim half of our ...1