Essay from Michael Robinson

Middle aged Black man with short hair and brown eyes. He's got a hand on his chin and is facing the camera.
Michael Robinson

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

                                           --------Psalm 9:1 NIV

My open-heart surgery on August 30th, 2023 changed me. It altered my entire view of the world and that change showed me the value of my relationship with Jesus Christ. The surgery was to repair four blocked arteries, and without it, certain death would only have been a matter of time. Before my surgery, life had become routine. Each day was a repeat of the day before, except for church on Sunday. My relationship with Jesus Christ existed throughout my life, but this experience meant a change for me. This time the void that always existed in my life changed. I always had a feeling of comfort in the Sanctuary at an early age. Listening to what God had to say to me. 

My salvation started in 1957 at my birth in Baltimore Maryland. Growing up in the darkness of the streets of DC where the only light was the votive candles burning in the Sanctuary.  This silence brought an awareness of peace and comfort. There was a sense of a presence that was quiet and comforting to me. This comfort surrounded me during the surgery. There were no bright lights that I can recall or noise from the heart lung machine or people hustling around me. The operation took six hours and one hour in which my heart was stopped as the heart lung machine pumped blood thru my body. I learned weeks later that once your heart stops beating you are considered legally dead. During the operation there was a sense of space around me. Upon, waking up in a state of disconnection to my surroundings except for that breathing tube in my throat. which was the sensation in my body. Once the tube was removed, I vomited out water and was unable to speak. My memory after the operation was this feeling of space but not time. 

Days passed and with each passing day gradually my senses returned, however there was great discomfort from the surgery. There was still this feeling of space around me. Each day there was a disconnect between me and my surroundings. During this time my emotions were on hold. Thoughts about life without having footprints from the past before the surgery. Thinking is that what one experience when they are born in this physical world? Only thoughts about God were my connection to my surroundings. I still alive and why did God choose me to continue in this world? This feeling of an empty space lasted even as the anesthesia subsided. The physical discomfort lasted for months. God had allowed me to start a new understanding of what life really meant. Only thoughts like I mentioned in childhood of God filled that void in me. 

My waking hours I meditate of God's presence in my life. No fear about life or death are of no concern to me. Wanting to return to the Sanctuary at Asbury United Methodist Church. Sitting in the Sanctuary to fill that void like in childhood. My prayers are simple prayers of gratitude. Jesus Christ have filled that void. Christ Jesus was within me all this time in my childhood. On August 30th 2023 my prayers came to fruition to live for Christ Jesus.