I so want to finish this title with “…in a mammogram,” but I don’t want to exclude the men. Brothers, it is safe to keep reading.
I usually enter the changing room with a severe nervous stomach. My sister is a breast cancer survivor and I had to fight with my insurance company to begin mammograms well before turning 40. The first few years, I received call backs for diagnostic mammograms until I learned about dense tissue. I would enter the screening room in tears, already frazzled at the entire process. That is why what happens next is so great.
This year I checked in at the desk to bad service. Then, as per annual, my name was horribly mispronounced when called back (I’m convinced the doctor’s office and court are two places that you have to answer to whatever they call you or you miss your turn!). Social distancing in effect — once changed, I stayed in the changing room until a nurse was ready for me. All the while, I noticed I was strangely and uncharacteristically calm.
I should also say that I was reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and getting more disturbed by each page. Still, I was calm.
My nurse was a lovely Thai woman. Our exchange began with humor. When she was ready for me, I walked up to the machine and started to wipe it with my hand. I mean, a vigorous wiping. She said, “All of the machines are cleaned thoroughly after each patient leaves.” I, in good Southern United States fashion, replied, “Oh, I’m not worried about y’all and cleanliness. This thing is cold!” Boom — immediate disarm and big laughs. Whew.
I tensed up a bit while being positioned, and she took the first image. While positioning me for the second image, she said, “You will be fine. Do you know why? Because if God be for us, who (or maybe she said what) can be against us!”
I could not give my wonderfully dramatic Pentecostal response, as I was pinned and told not to breathe so the nurse could capture the image. But, I had a thought — so , Jesus is here in the mammogram! NICE (said with a classic southern drawl, all drawn out).
We finished all of my images and the nurse had mentioned she converted from Buddhism to Christianity, emphasizing her confidence in Christ as if to suggest the leap of faith was proof of God’s power. Wow, I thought. I had to ask. I asked her how she came to saving faith. She was a business owner and had an encounter with God. Like Gideon, she asked a fleece question. The answer was through her now husband. She asked for a man who had been raised in the things of God, a man of faith who could teach her.
Not only my nurse, but my sister in Christ, she said. She blessed me, declared my health and wholeness, and we shared another laugh as I left. I wanted to share it with someone, or post about it on social media. I waited until I could share it here, to encourage us all that Jesus is meeting us in all kinds of places. I wasn’t looking for Jesus per se, but I recognized the calm, the peace, and knew something was different about that day.
I hope my story boosts your persistence to keep engaging your relationship with the Father. The nurse, the calm, the peace, the joy, the testimony — He did all of that for me. I left with a sweet reminder of the Father’s abiding presence and perfect love. This was my first mammogram ever without fear.
So, sisters, get your mammograms! Brothers, encourage the women in your life to get mammograms (especially if there’s family history). But most of all, expect unexpected encounters with Christ and His love. Selah.
Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the founder of The Bereans’ Commentary.
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