Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Waiting Room of Mercy

The waiting room of Mercy
is a place with no address
where loved ones mix with strangers
and faint smiles mix with stress…
where whispers catch attention
and laughter goes unheard
as stares fix on a distant door
awaiting some new word.
The chairs in Mercy's waiting room
hold hope and hints of strife.
The time is measured not by clocks
but subtle rhythms of life…
like blinks held shut and breaths held in
and sighs in sync let go...
or pacing feet past eyes that meet
while scanning to and fro
in search of strength from "they that wait"
for hours turned to days…
till, if God wills, all trembling lips
give way to pent-up praise.
 ©Tom Kapanka 12-16-2018

These pictures were taken in place called Mercy Hospital, street address: 1500 E Sherman Blvd., but the above lines are also about a more abstract place that can be called "The Waiting Room of Mercy," a waiting room that calls us all at different times in life and in any place where we learn from "they that wait upon the Lord" in prayer and supplication.

The opening lines of the post were prompted by some hours I spent at Mercy Hospital this past Thursday night, awaiting the news regarding a senior at CCS who, in the peak of health and fitness, suffered a cardiac arrest in our school gym during a routine basketball practice. His teammates were the first to gather 'round him. They are seated in some of the pictures above. Thanks to his coach, the AED in our gymnasium, and the immediate arrival of our local first responders, this story has a very miraculous outcome, but that was unknown at the time of these photos.

The last photo is the moment that the boy's father first saw his dear friend, his son's coach, whose calm and trained response saved his son's life. I will post a video link to the good news that came over the weekend. In the meantime, here are two initial news articles from Friday and Saturday.
 Click on title below: 

 AED and quick thinking by coach credited with saving West Michigan teen’s life

Grand Haven Tribune

Coach saves player who collapses at practice

Do you want to hear something that has brought comfort over these past few days? The student in this story is a leader on our school praise team. With him, the student body has sung a song called "I will follow" by Jon Guerra (a friend of CCS) countless times. The praise team sang that song Thursday morning in chapel, not knowing what the afternoon held.

A year and a half ago, The Lakes Church made the CCS building their home. Pastor Todd Ballard is lead teaching pastor of the church. His office is upstairs near the gymnasium, and he often practices with our basketball team. This was the case Thursday. He had left the gymnasium when he heard all the commotion coming from the gym and hallways. Here are his opening remarks from this morning's message. 

Just three days after that announcement in church, WZZM 13 ran this story on the 6:00 News.

Calvary Christian School coach uses AED to save basketball player's life


  1. God often uses the storms in our lives to accomplish His perfect work. I am praising God for His mercy in "breathing life back into Luke again", and I am praying that God will accomplish His perfect work in the lives of all the students and families at Calvary Christian Schools and beyond.

  2. We continue to think about and pray for the Anhalt family.

  3. Thank you, guest. There is a praise and worship song that Luke has led our student body in many times. In fact, it was sung in chapel the morning of this incident. The opening lyrics say,
    "When the sea is calm and all is right
    When I feel Your favor flood my life
    Even in the good, I'll follow You
    Even in the good, I'll follow You

    When the boat is tossed upon the waves
    When I wonder if You'll keep me safe
    Even in the storms, I'll follow You
    Even in the storms, I'll follow You"

    Listen to the whole song here:

    Thank you for keeping in touch with the CCS family and for remembering the Anhalt family this Christmas.

  4. i continue to follow and pray for this young man and everyone involved. as an Muskegon Catholic fan / parent and heart patient myself it is the least i can do. I know you all would do the same for us.

  5. Dear friend from MCC,
    Thank you for your prayers. Perhaps we'll see you at Tuesday's game. Luke is scheduled to come home the same day. I just received an update from his father that he came out of surgery fine around noon.

  6. Thanks so much for the site, I found a lot of useful information for us.
    Liked the good program. there is something to think about ...


Constructive dialogue and encouraging feedback is always welcome. This is a community of friends and Christian parents and educators. You know my name, please identify yourself by name in your comment, so we know who to thank for sharing.