Posts Tagged ‘faith’

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…)

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Her name is Mary. She sat in the hospital chair, next to her bed, shivering.

“I’m so cold. They’ve turned off the air conditioner, but I’m still cold.” Two blankets were covering her thin hospital gown.

She then listed a few of her current medical problems, any of which would have produced a different statement than what she said next:

“But God is good. Any day I wake up and have another day is a good day. God is good.”

Her smile was infectious, and we laughed together. The two of us  tried to wrap the blankets so they covered her better in the chair, but she still couldn’t get warm. We visited a little longer, and as I left the room to look for another blanket, “Yes, child, God is good” were her departing words.

A little while later I returned to the room to find her shoulders wrapped in a beautifully crocheted Prayer Shawl: large rectangles of greens, surrounded by beige edging, with a stripe of burgundy running through it.

Responding to my “That’s beautiful!” Mary cheerfully told me one of the nurses had just brought it.

“There’s a tag somewhere on here that says where it’s from.” I helped her find the tag, and then read off the name of the women’s guild from one of the local churches.

“God is good. I’m so warm now.” She said with a contented sigh as she pulled the Prayer Shawl back around her.

A God in the Ordinary moment: In the faith of this hospital patient. In the kindness of a stranger who spent countless hours crocheting the Prayer Shawl. I wish the creator of this special gift could have seen the contentment in Mary’s face, her soft smile at finally being warm, and hear her words:

“God is good!”

© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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I had just received a call at home asking me to take on a new project. It involved taking a risk and was way out of my comfort zone. I had told the caller I’d pray about it. When we completed talking, I put the portable phone back in its cradle, finished my tea, then took the mug to the sink.

While washing out the mug I remembered a time when Mike was 2 ½ years old, and Kathy was 11 months old. We were at the local playground. Kathy was watching as her brother zipped down the orange tube slide. It was at a steep angle; Mike would enter at the top, disappear for a moment, and then come flying out the bottom and land in the gravel on his feet. Kathy was really excited and laughed every time he popped out of the tube. She couldn’t walk yet; I was holding her as she watched Mike.

Kathy indicated to me that she, too, wanted to go down the slide. I placed her on the platform where the top of the slide was. She crawled to the tube, then slid belly down, head first to the bottom, and flew out laughing as I ran around to the bottom of the slide and caught her as she flew out.  We did this again and again, taking turns with Mike, for almost an hour.

Upon reflection, I realized Kathy was displaying the innocence of a child, joyfully throwing herself down the slide, fully expecting the loving arms of a parent to catch her. A time of God in the Ordinary: God in the little child, showing me how I should be with Him. Ready to fully trust, take a chance and risk, go for it, and know He will be there to catch me.

Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. Mark 10:15

© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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