Donna and I have just arrived home from our Thanksgiving holiday in Lubbock. It was an awesome time of fellowship, games, watching football and turkey & dressing! We were blessed to get to spend time with all three boys, wives and grandkids.
As I was thinking about all I have to be thankful for these things came to mind (not necessarily in any order):
I have no lingering effects from my strokes a couple of years ago
Working in the ministry continues to bless us more than those we help
Our family is healthy
We have a wonderful church family and place to worship
I have a beautiful, loving, and caring wife and she also works with me
The folks who support our ministry
The folks who volunteer in the ministry
A faithful and true Father – that always listens
A Brother who loved us enough to die on the cross
The list could go on but time and space do not permit.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday we had the honor and privilege of meeting a young man that we will be working with. His name is Kaleb Hockenberry. We don’t know all of the specifics but we do know that a couple of weeks ago Kaleb was leaving a party and was attacked by 3 or 4 men. As a result of this attack, Kaleb was shot in the neck and suffered severe spinal trauma. He is 24 years old and has a daughter. We have been working with his mother, Julie Hill, to try to find any options that might be out there for Kaleb. He is currently paralyzed from the neck down and is on a ventilator. During our first visit with Kaleb, we sang, “How Great Thou Art”. He couldn’t speak with the tracheotomy, but mouthed the words along with us. It was quite an emotional time. After reading our post on Facebook, a dear friend contacted me and reminded me of her granddaughter’s spinal injury a few years ago. She suggested that we refer them to Craig Hospital (who specialize in spine and brain trauma) in Denver. Julie told me today that a representative from Craig is flying in tomorrow to assess the situation.
From time to time folks ask us what we say to people who are hurting so badly. I ran across this story some time ago and thought it might answer the question better than I can:
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. “Your son is here,” she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed.
All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.
“Who was that man?” he asked. The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered. “No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”
“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?” “I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”
I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His Son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this gentleman’s name? The nurse with tears in her eyes answered – Mr. William Grey………….
The next time someone needs you … just be there. Stay.
Current Prayer List:
Kaleb Hockenberry – 24 yr old – paralyzed from the neck down
Kaitlyn & Kynadi Lee – 5 yr old twins with hydrocephalus
AJ Cucksay – 4 year old with multiple brain tumors
Ty Whittington – few months old – has hydrocephalus
Cooper Erwin – 1 year old with Spina Bifida
Jane Seward – cancer
Loy Mitchell – had a cancerous tumor removed
Mary Jo Garner – health continues to deteriorate and has been moved to El Paso to be near her son
Roy Hart – Alzheimer’s (remember Merita, his wife)
Shirley Carrigan – had surgery for a bleeding ulcer and will have a lengthy recovery
Stu Parsons had a quadruple bypass – it went well and he is now recovering at home
Carolyn Stockton – passed away after a long illness of Alzheimer’s – pray for Jack and the family
Gloria Pittman passed away unexpectedly – remember her son, Wesley and the family
Tom Reed passed away after a long illness – remember Ruby (his wife) and the family.
Don’t forget Flu shots – It’s that time of the year!