42 Wrong Number
Oh no, Martha needs even more surgery? My father questioned after hearing from the staff in the synagogue's office. My father is a rabbi and Martha is a friend to many in the office.
Furthermore, the physician told Martha that he wanted to wait a few months for the next surgery. Therefore, my father asked his secretary to find Martha's home number so he could call and say a prayer for her.
And that is exactly what happened. Every week my father would call Martha and get a "generic " answering-machine message. He would say the same prayer: "Be strong and always have courage." My father never heard back from Martha. But he hoped she was resting easily with his prayers.
One week, my father called, and again he received the same generic answering-machine message. However, instead of saying the same prayer,my father, for some reason, decided on another scriptural prayer: "Whenever I have problems, I call unto God and He answers me." Again, my father received no immediate response from Martha. But this time my father added one more sentence: "If you can call me, please call," and he included his phone number.
Two weeks later, my father received a "unique" phone call. "Rabbi Segal, you have no idea who I am, but every week for over a month you've called and left the same prayer for me on my answering-machine. I truly appreciated it very much as my neck and shoulders have been hurting me for so long. I never called you back until today because you never left your number. However, your second scriptural blessing, 'Whenever I have problems, I call unto God and He answers me', left an impression on me, causing me to drop to my knees, turn to God, and emotionally say, 'God, I need Your help.' Surprisingly, after a few minutes, I felt that I 'heard' a response from the Lord and He told me, 'Go to another Doctor.'"
Rabbi, I just got back from the new physician. Hearing my issues and my medications he calmly explained that I was taking the wrong medication and gave me the correct one. Miraculously, my pain is gone. Without your phone message, I would still be in miserable pain. God bless you!
My father obviously had been calling the wrong number ... Sorry, Martha.
I smiled as I imagined my father thinking, "Was it really a wrong phone number?" I guess one will never truly know!
(By Michael Jordan Segal)