My friend, an orthopedic surgeon, was insistent. “Bob,” he said, “I need your help. My old clinic’s gotten too small. Come with me to see this new one. I need ideas!”
The new clinic was a ruin. Broken plaster was more on the floor than on the wall. The flooring was made up of broken tiles on which carpenters from the adjoining room threw bundles of used wood onto it, oblivious of the surgeon, the new owner. It was a mess. But the mess from which I knew, could be created a functional working clinic. “Fourteen feet by seventeen feet,” announced the doctor, as if talking to a nurse in his surgery. “Fifteen feet, not fourteen,” I corrected him.
He pulled a gleaming steel tape from his pocket. “I measured the room yesterday,” he said. “Let’s do it again.” I bent down and held the tape against the wall. I felt my glasses slip out and fall. A glass came out of the frame. I hastily slipped it back into my pocket and held the tape. There was no light in the room, and the carpenters from the neighbouring room continued throwing more and more debris into the doctor’s future clinic.
We went across to an Irani restaurant next door and looked at the measurements. “Draw a plan Bob,” he said to me. “I need a waiting room, consulting room and a toilet.” I put my hand into my pocket to fish out my reading glasses. One glass came out, but there was no sign of the frame and the other.
“My glasses!” I whispered horrified.
We went back into the dingy room. It was now pitch dark. The high ceiling and ancient walls seemed to smirk. The surgeon’s wife joined us with a torch. We searched every bit of the room. There were broken tiles, junk and huge pieces of broken doors and windows, but there were no spectacles.
It was an ordinary pair of glasses, a present from my wife. For me they were special. I moved to the corner of the room. It was dark while I prayed, “Lord, find them for me, please!”
The carpenters continued dumping their debris.
“Check there,” I found myself saying suddenly, “beneath the debris!” “We already have,” said the surgeon a trifle impatiently. “And if they’re under, they would be broken and useless by now!”
I called a carpenter. “Lift every piece at this spot!” And as he started doing so, it shone in the darkness!
I picked it up. Not a scratch on the glass or dent on the frame.
“How did you know it was there?” asked the very puzzled surgeon as we left the old building, “how were you so sure?” And then he grinned and nodded as I looked up at the One who’d heard my prayer..!
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