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Faith In God is Lightening The Weight of Waiting

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God bless you,

Every time our phones ring, whether it is our cells phones or home phone,

my wife Joyce and I jump, look at each other and eagerly answer.

We are waiting, most of all, for the call that tells me, "Lacy, we believe we

have found the right heart to replace your failing one. Please report to the

operating table at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn., within four hours."

It's been 23 days since I was placed at the top of the heart transplant

list at the Mayo Clinic. The heart must match my body size and B-positive blood

type. So our lives have been simplified and distilled down to the bare basic of

waiting for this earth's most precious physical gift: a healthy heart.

Prior to now, we'd often not answer the phone if we were busy or just

didn't want to be bothered. If the call was important, the caller would leave a message

that we'd eventually listen to and decide whether to respond.

But until I get a heart transplant, we can't neglect any phone call because it just

might be THE CALL.

So, I'm still waiting. If not for my faith in God, this wait would be the heaviest

of waits. But my faith in God has relieved me of the weary weight of worrying,

wondering and wishing. I am at peace with God. I learned long ago to pray that

God's kingdom come and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Thank you for your continued prayers. Whatever the outcome, I will let you

know. Meantime, I'm waiting. We have already enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving

and we are prepared to celebrate Jesus' birthday and and enjoy a merry

Christmas, which we wish to all of you. Our Christmas tree is all aglow with blue

and white LED lights. I am praying to receive a new heart for Christmas, which

would be the most precious present I could receive. Nevertheless, we will have

a merry Christmas not because of the gift of a new heart, but because of the gift

God gave man in the form of his only begotten Son, Jesus.

God bless you.

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It won't be long now!

You are - in the words that Frank Sinatra so famously sung - "A #1, head of the list, top of the heap." I have a feeling that Christmas may just come early for you. Everyday without is one day closer to the first day with.

I'm waiting on a life-changing decision as well, so I know it can be anxiety-inducing. But, like you, I have faith that the best thing will happen.

You do not go alone. We are all with you.

What do you say we make Christmas 2010 the best Christmas ever for us all?

BANKS' RESPONSE: You are so poetic, witty and philosophical, John. "Each day without is day closer with." Who could have said that better? To be honest, if I had a choice, I would have preferred having received the heart and successfully adapted to it just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But beggars can't really be choosy. Right? Or they shouldn't be. How can a beggar demand that you contribute to him? If he forces you to give against your will, he is robbing you. Or extortion at best. But this heart donor miracle is pretty unique. One gives in advance, knowing what he is giving and the supreme price he is paying to give it. But once he gives, he is not usually able to see the receiver and to know how well the gift will be used or appreciated. In my situation, I shall enjoy with even more relish this season, my all-time favorite movies, to include: "It's A Wonderful Life," "A Christmas Carol," "This Christmas," the start of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and "Jesus of Nazareth," "Amahl And The Night Visitors," "Miracle of 31st (?) Street," "The Nutcracker Suite" and "The Snow Queen." Also, I love hearing Christmas carols sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, to include "O Little Town Of Bethlehem," "I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas," "L'Enfance du Christ," "King Jesus Hath A Garden," "Stars Were Gleaming," "Silent Night," "Away In A Manger," "Once in David's City," "Christmas Is Here Again," "Hard The Herald Angels Sing," "The First Noel," "O Holy Night" and so on and so on.

Merry Christmas, Rev. Banks,
I love your tenacious faith and I've enjoyed reading how God's blessings have overcome your challenges. Your story is awesome and inspiring! I continue to keep you in my prayers. May God show up and show out for you and your family during Christmas and into the New Year.

BANKS' RESPONSE: When you get right down to it, Deborah, it's all about Christmas and Christmas is all about Jesus and Jesus is all about giving and healing and saving and loving. Merry Christmas and Happy Jesus Birthday to you and your entire family.

Rev. Lacy, It surely must be incredibly difficult to wait for that phone call. I chuckled at your reasons for not always answering the phone previously because I also find all that communication stuff very intrusive, probably because the home I grew up in had two hard wired land line phones and they didn't ring very often, nor did we make many calls out. So many new fangled devices, yet sometimes less real communication. What came to my mind is that while you are temporarily tethered to the phone, the result of receiving that call will ultimately be the removal of being tethered to the heart pump. And you continue waiting with great hope and expectation because you are permanently tethered to the Almighty Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We your readers continue to wait with you in prayer because of the very same reason. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Your friend, Marie

BANKS' RESPONSE: Tethered to Jesus? Hot dog, Marie! Leached to the Lord by His love and for extended life. Yes, phones have come a long way. I remember the years of my youth when we did not have a phone. When a phone was a real status symbol. When people who had phones had them for the whole neighborhood and, in times of emergency, especially, they'd have to go tell a neighbor to come to to their house to receive a telephone call. Then there were those who overstayed their welcome. Those who would come to use your phone, stay on it a long time and not give you a dime toward the phone bill. People who would come to your home at dinner time to use the phone and also receive an invitation to stay for dinner. Aw y'all don't have enough food for me to eat."
"Yes, we do."
"Well, I shouldn't. That would be rude or me and I'd be imposing."
"No, you wouldn't."
"Are you sure?"
That's the perfect last chance to save your family fro the greedy eater.
"Well, maybe you are right. I really didn't prepare enough because I didn't know you were coming. (Right!) But next time, we'll trying to have enough so that you can have dinner with us.?
"Wait now. If you really are inviting me to eat, I believe I can stay just for a little while and eat just a little bit."
"No. That's alright. We'll be fine. Thank you, anyway. Are you through using the phone because we have to make some calls and we are expecting some calls."
Then there was the party line, Marie. Remember ?
Two, three or maybe more families shared the same line. Many times, you'd have to make an emergency call and somebody already has the line talking about nothing important and reluctant to give up the line. Then there are those, including the operator, who would listen in on your phone conversations. Sometimes, they'd even laugh or make a noise to force the talkers to stop and ask, "Did you hear that? Somebody else is on the line listening to us."
Now, here I am waiting for a potential life-saving phone call. And this is the time when I hate, yes hate, telemarketers who call and you can't trace their number and they leave long recorded messages. But through it all, we are blessed beyond recognition.

Dear Rev Banks,

I have been reading your blog since you first started writing it, I believe. I know God is going to give you your gift soon. I too have numerous medical problems including heart failure, kidney failure and COPD along with fibromyalgia and arthritis.

I will continue praying for you and I hope when this is all over, you put these blogs together in a book. I will be one of the first to buy it.


BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, Ben, for reading my blog and making a comment. You are one of many who suggesting that I reshape this 32-month chronology of events and emotions into a book. Believe me, there is much more than has happened in my life during this period. But I feel compelled to tell on so much in given situations. I pray that God Blesses you and gives you the desires of your heart.

Hello Rev. Banks,blessings to you and your family. Just wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. I've been working every Sunday since September so the last 2 times you came to Alpha Temple I've missed hearing you preach. Thanking God for the overtime while we have it and most of all thanking him for having a job. My continued prayers for you and your new heart,yes I am claiming it,because the bible tells us "ask and it shall be given,seek and ye shall find." Take care and God bless you. Marcia

BANKS' RESPONSE: You're so correct, Marcia. Thank God for a job, first. Thank God for fringe benefits and especially affordable group life and health insurance, second. Thank God for overtime, third. Thank God for good people to work for and work with. We wish you and your family a Mary, Merry Christmas. People are still trying to take the Mary our of Christmas. But Christmas can't be Merry without Mary. Now, can I get a witness?

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on December 9, 2010 5:42 PM.

From Under The Bottom To The Very Top of Mayo's Heart Transplant List was the previous entry in this blog.

No New Heart For Me Under My Christmas Tree, So............ is the next entry in this blog.

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