This Saturday, I was part of a fascinating conversation over lunch at our synagogue. It all started with trying to get our Hebrew-English grace after meals leaflet retyped to eliminate some glitches. We chatted about whose computer had Hebrew typeface, and I mentioned a mutual friend (let’s call her Lee) who used to be into self-publishing children’s books and sounded like the sort of person who ought to have Hebrew. Oh no, said our companion. She’s got too much to handle right now for that.
And then proceeded to tell us a remarkable story. Lee (who has always been a remarkable person anyway, having at one time or another worked as a professional clown, an improv actress, a playwright and poet, a self-published children’s book author, a police officer, and a lawyer) has been carrying on various of those professions over the last few years with a serious cystic disease which has been (unbeknownst to me) shutting down her kidneys. A couple of months ago, Lee stopped in to the synagogue during the week to run some errands, and stuck her head into the office to say hello to whoever might be there. She was greeted by the congregational secretary (let’s call her Anna), who was having a slow afternoon and was more than glad to chat. In the course of the chat, Lee chanced to mention that she would probably be going on dialysis in the next few weeks. Why’s that? asked Anna, and Lee explained about the kidney problem. Anna thought this over for a few days afterward. I can do something about this, she decided. She realized (she told somebody later) that she had never spent a day in bed for illness since she had her tonsils out at age 6. That kind of good health ought to be good for something, she reflected, and went to get tested for every parameter known to man. Sure enough, she turned out to be a really good match for Lee. The transplant was done two weeks ago. Anna is doing just fine, and Lee just got out of intensive care.
It’s nice to be part of a congregation in which miracles happen.