It is so ironic that my friend Chip, who also is my children’s principal, is now spending multiple days hooked up to IV’s and ventilators in the ICU. Why is this ironic? Because his wife Lisa has spent many a Sunday afternoon ministering to other patients in the ICU, praying and singing with her ever-present guitar – songs of faith and hope. Now it is Lisa and Chip who need someone to pray and sing over them. Chip suffered from heat stroke this last weekend and his life is now a maze of CAT scans, EEG’s, and anti-seizure medications. So, for my post today, I am going to borrow from Lisa’s blog and ask for your prayers for my dear friend. If you feel so led, you can visit her website and support her now by buying her latest album, Comfort, at http://www.lisabloecher.com
He was the last person I visited. I was ready to go home. My fingers were raw. (I played for two hours at a restaurant earlier that day). I was very much ready to go home and spend time with my family. Henry was going to get one song, one prayer and then I was out of there. But it didn’t play out like that.
I ended up sitting in his room for 30 minutes….talking…laughing…learning more about Henry. Something he said right before the prayer made me sense…Henry needs more of you. I had noticed his large red suitcase in the corner of the room. I found that odd because most patients don’t have suitcases. Henry went on to tell me how he and his wife were on their way to vacation in Cabo, MX. But then something unexpected happened–he had a pain in his stomach and ended up getting ten inches of his colon removed here in Dallas. (They are not from here, they’re thousands of miles away from their home in Maryland).
He then went on to tell me of the errors in surgery, complications, and infections that had resulted. So now, three hospitals later, he’s at my hospital recovering from infection. My heart went out to him and his wife. I gave them my card and told him to call if there was anything I could help them with, I also told him I’d like to cook he and his wife dinner some night. (I’ve never offered that to a patient). But again, it was something he said earlier that initiated this hunger within me to help Henry, to befriend him, to be family to he and his wife while they are in this difficult season and so far away from home.
This is what he said before the prayer…
I said, “Henry, could I say a prayer for you?” (With the intention of leaving immediately after the prayer). Henry gave a nervous laugh and said, “Oh, you’re gonna have to show me what to do here. I’ve never done this before.” My heart softened, I smiled and said, “Oh no problem.” He lifted his bruised hand (from the countless IV’s) and I gently placed it on his chest. I said, “You just relax, I’m going to place my hand on your arm here, and you can close your eyes or keep them open, then I’m going to say a prayer.” After the prayer he looked at me (he chose not to close his eyes) and said thank you.
I stood there in amazement and with the sudden realization that there are people in this world, who have NEVER had someone pray for them. Something within me ignited.
Let’s get busy.
This is my command: Love each other. John 15:17 (NLT)