|Commissioning a Missionary to the Nursing Home|
Sunlight rises through the leaves of trees outside my window. It’s good to see the sun – it’s good to see.
I think back to a time when I sat beside the bed of my friend Barbara Black, a woman at least ten years younger than I, who was confined to her bed because of Multiple Sclerosis. She pointed out the moving mural of autumn leaves framed by a picture window. During the time I got to know her, she pointed out many things I wasn’t stopping to see.
Today, November 18,
is was Barbara’s date of birth. She
finished her race because of others who ran alongside her. Her poetry and her
paintings reflected her faith that God ruled. Through her illness, her
testimony was as eloquent.
In Barbara’s battle to live the life God entrusted to her, to its finish, she needed help. I had never met anyone who was coping with life limitations Barbara and her father did. Nor, had I ever seen the Body of Christ rally so to help two people caught in the crossfire of age and disease, financial constraints, and aloneness. Groups of people offered different gifts – from financial counseling, practical care, and spiritual help – and one couple especially, unwavering friendship to the end.
The more the I entered into their world the deeper my awareness of the mysteries of God’s faithfulness – He makes a way unexpectedly and perfectly often with small mercies – sometimes with breath-taking kindnesses – and sometimes by withholding answers. And the more awake I became to simple pleasures, and mercies. The chief one being people who value life and will protect it – to name a few, Walter and Jo-Ann Intelkofer, the nursing staff at the Lorien Nursing Home in Mt. Airy Maryland, and a visiting pastor who sang the hymns that blessed and fed Barbara’s joy.
For, joy is her hallmark – what she practiced here, and will possess forever in heaven.