The difference in the sides of the hospital room was remarkable.
A friend was in the hospital for a few days. A couple of us went up to visit in the late afternoon of the first day of her stay. There were already a few other people visiting her in the room, which quickly filled with laughter. She had the bed by the door. The table along the wall, next to the bed, had a couple of bouquets of flowers on it.
My friend had a roommate, whose bed was by the window. I was later to learn her name was Lisa, and she was in our age group. Lisa didn’t have any visitors, no flowers on her table, the TV wasn’t on. She was real quiet, reading a book. She had a certain peace about her.
The next day, I went back to visit my friend in the early afternoon. I was the only visitor in the room. By this time, my friend’s table was full of flowers, and a teddy bear held a Get Well Soon Balloon. My friend excitedly shared who the gifts were from.
Lisa’s side of the room was still bare; no flowers.
My friend whispered Lisa did not have any visitors during her stay.
Lisa felt more comfortable with only one visitor in the room. She put down her book and joined us in prayer. In conversation, I learned the well-worn book was her bible, covered in a paper bag to try to keep the cover on. It had been repeated repaired with tape. Lisa shared only a little of her life: she lived in an unnamed town, in a small rented room, didn’t have much, was between jobs. She was evasive when the topic of family came up. Yet she kept telling us how blessed she was, and how thankful to God she was for all He did for her. She hugged her bible.
The third day I visited, more flowers had arrived for my friend: they were on the table, on the food tray table, the chair, and had taken over some of the counter space by the sink.
There was a bouquet of flowers on Lisa’s table, too. I excitedly asked her who they were from. She replied they were from the nurse; the flowers were delivered to the hospital for someone who had been discharged already. So the nurse gave them to Lisa.
Lisa was sitting on her bed, dressed in a simple sweatshirt and sweat pants. She was being released that day.
She picked up the bouquet of flowers, and gave them to my friend.
“But I have so many, and you won’t have any!” my friend replied.
“You seem to really like flowers,“ Lisa replied. “Enjoy them.”
“I have everything I need”, Lisa told us. “I have my faith in Jesus, and I trust in Him to guide me when I leave here“
Lisa had an amazing sense of God’s peace. Her words have stayed with me, and I realize that Lisa, who we thought was poor, was richer than any of us in that room.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (more…)