Sunday, February 13, 2011

What Can I Say? What Can I do?

Tea time with Keith and Kate has been postponed. My friend was rushed to the ER this past week after his dear wife, Kate discovered he was choking on his saliva. Today I returned home from visiting with them in CCU at the nearby hospital.

"What can I do?," I inquired. Keith's eyes motioned me towards his spell boards. I reached for one, held it up and he nodded. His eyes focused on one section of the board and then I pointed. When I guessed the correct letter, he would nod. I had pointed towards the letter "p". I inferred based on the most recent events, he wanted me to pray. I held up a different board and he would move his eyes towards the side the letter was on. Sure enough, it was the letter "r". "Pray?" I asked. Keith nodded.

How do I pray? What do I pray? What does anyone say? His wife Kate asked if I would pray over them right there. I answered, "Sure." Then came the hard part,doing it. I didn't say much. It wasn't a long prayer. I simply requested God to bless and comfort them, give them wisdom and that they would feel His presence. After closing, I opened my eyes and sheepishly admitted, "I don't know what else to say." It was not long before the tears spilled over onto my cheeks and I began to share about my own grandmother who had ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease many years ago. I didn't understand it then, nor any of it today.

Yet I was reminded of the verse in Matthew 25:40, "The king will reply,'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

I had an opportunity to show kindness to the king today while he was laying in a hospital bed with pierced skin and surgical tape applied to hold IV needles and tubes in place while he was connected to a ventilator and propped with a soft fitting, black cushion around his neck.

His wife, Kate joked with me and the respiratory nurse on staff how she heard that some of the medications caution that a possible side effect may include sleep walking at night. "We'd all like to see that. Sure bring it on," she kidded. No doubt all of us would whole heartedly love to see that for Keith. I'm sure he wouldn't shrug it off either, but welcome it with open arms. It's not impossible with God, but it doesn't seem to be the way He is taking them at this point in time.

So what can I say? What can I do? Although trapped in a body that is increasingly debilitating, my friend, Keith is still Keith and he's not giving up anytime soon.

I am thankful to know he and his wife, Kate.

I am inspired and challenged by them.

I feel compelled to pray for them and to show kindness.

I am impressed to share with others

- Life is fragile!

Pray hard!

Play hard!

Work like the devil and

take time to smell the roses.

Never cease to show kindness

for neither royalty nor valiancy is dead, but shining in some

of the most hidden and unexpected places.

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