I was in bed for six months at the time of my endocarditis. It took me many years to understand how patient my mother was in those days. My father worked twelve-hour shifts—twelve on, twelve off—so my mom was alone most of the time. She couldn’t go anywhere; she couldn’t do anything but take care of me. And I suspect I was a whiny little boy.
We lived in what had once been a bank, and our bedrooms had once been offices. There was a long hall down to our bathroom and to what had been a storeroom. My dad somehow got a single bed and put it in the hall so that I would be able to see my mom as she bustled around doing housework, and I wouldn’t be so lonesome.
On sunny days, my mom would drag my old wagon out onto the sidewalk in front of our building, bundle me up in a blanket, and lay me in the wagon in the sun. Then, of course, she had to keep an eye on me until she brought me back in. As you can tell, I had a wonderful mother.
My brother slept in the bedroom opposite my hall-bed, and he tried to amuse me as well. He was six years older than I, so it was hard for him to put up with a whiny kid. But I remember once, when we were all supposed to be asleep, my brother brought me a stack of paper and we spent a happy hour folding paper airplanes. The walls of the former office didn’t go clear to the ceiling, so we had about a two-foot space at the top of the bedroom wall to sail them through.
Looking back, I can see that God was taking good care of me, even then. I am almost 87 now, and my heart continues to beat well and strong. Praise God’s name.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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