By Joyce Pelletier
1 Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge; self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love.
All of my Christian journey has been filled with so much kindness from my brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a key ingredient in where this kindness comes from; the Holy Spirit.
Nearly ten years ago, Maurice had his aortic valve replaced. It was only his second major surgery in his lifetime. We had every reason to believe that it should all go well.
The surgical procedure went quite well. Following recovery, he was sent to ICU, which is quite normal. Two days later he was placed in the step-down unit, and that’s when things went sour. The problem was not the surgery, but the medication that not only kept him somewhat pain free but also with an element of confusion. Little did the doctor realize that the medication caused him to be anxious, irrational and restless.
I was with him soon after he first arrived from ICU. He became confused at where he was and why. We were sitting in his room when he started having hallucinations, like he was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room or thinking he wasn’t sick at all, a door to a closet turned into a refrigerator. This didn’t help the situation we were experiencing.
The nurses came to his room and asked me to step out of the room so they could discern what the problem was. I was quite concerned at that point. I started pacing the hall and praying that God would send someone to help. As soon as I prayed that prayer, I turned around and I saw a familiar face coming down the hall towards me. It was one of our dearest friends.
Art listened to my concerns and simply said “It will be okay!” He also told me why he was there. He felt led by the Lord go to the hospital to see Maurice. I was so amazed. There was no question, and I knew God sent Art. Things started to turn around as the doctors decided to stop giving him that medicine.
Art spent several hours with us as Maurice went through the struggle to figure it all out. They put an alarm on his bed as well as moved him to the room nearest the nurse’s station.
Art was there for us. We talked about many things. Finally, mid-afternoon, Art went home. By that time the medication was wearing off and I felt safe enough to return home to get some rest myself.
Art showed us kindness, comfort, calmness, and love. This revealed what his true friendship was. The surgery turned out successful. The struggle at the hospital was somewhat traumatic. But God’s kindness through our friend, Art, gave me the courage to not be afraid. Somehow also knowing the clarity of each part of the situation, somehow calmed me to know God was in control.
So many times, I’ve had the opportunity to be in a place consoling a friend or run into someone who needed a special word of comfort. For me it was a totally unexpected and unplanned occurrence. Realizing that it was Jesus who sent me, it started to make sense. We often hear the word, “God-incidences” related to this kind of event. It’s then we know God sends us to someone such as this that is unexpected.
It is so important to realize, we can’t only be givers of God’s comfort and word. There are so many times for us to receive this as well. If each of us only give, who’s there to receive? Role reversal is so valuable in learning how to give and receive. Jesus gave all the time, but there was a time when He received, when Mary washed his feet.