Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hoping for Hope.

As most of you know, I have started my new job at Natural State Chiropractor and I love it.

And, as most you know, in any job that deals with patients, there are those patients that take a lot more patience than others. (Ha, how ironic the similarity between those two words.)

However, there are those others who you just automatically know you are going to love.

Last week, we had one of those people become a patient of ours. His name is John and he is this sweet little old man that comes in with a walker every visit, and since he cannot drive himself, he always has a driver as his escort.

He is a man full of such joy and peace. You feel lighter and happier in his presence and every time he comes in, I can't help but smile. This is for two reasons:

One: He usually is wearing the most awesome vintage Razorback shirt or sweatshirt that have got to be from the 70's or early 80's. They are so cool and I told him I wanted one. Or rather, yelled it to him since he cannot hear well...AT ALL. (Yes even with me, the really loud one)

Anyways, the second reason is this. John is a 71 year old man who has the faith and discipline of few men. John spent many years of his life as a choir director and the ability of motion was crucial to his life. He loved to cycle every day and judging by his character, he was a very lively and active being.

However, I am not sure exactly when, but a couple years ago, John had a stroke which left him with little to no motion on his whole right side of his body. This meant he could no longer do his favorite activities and he was completely swept away from the active life he lived. He could no longer direct his choir and he could no longer cycle.

Since the stroke he has had a couple of silent hearts attacks, he has chronic headaches and pain all over his body, and his body is just sick.

But despite his pain and despite his suffering, John, in his late age and after his stroke, decided to do something that most fully functioning and healthy people would never have the courage or strength to do.

Using the only ability he had left, John typed the whole entire bible, beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation with only his left hand. Let me say that again. John, the 71 year old, who is in chronic pain and has almost no motion on his right side (yes, he was right handed), typed the WHOLE bible with only his left hand.

I don't know if that has any impact on you, but it does on me.  I am so convicted by a faith like that and brought to my knees in shame because of how often I go day-to-day with a fully functioning, healthy body and yet do so little that brings Glory to God. This man had everything taken away from and yet he uses the only strength and capability he physically has to worship Christ.

Sometimes I wonder how a man in so much pain with all the reason to be angry and bitter can still exert so much joy and peace as he does.  Then, after a few naive and foolish moments of thought, the only conclusion I can come to is because of the faith he has set in something other than himself. He has placed his faith and eternal hope in Christ.  I can't imagine living on this earth without the hope of something else. And I say this but still all to often I never live with my hope in Christ.

Life is messy. It is so full of pain. We hurt people and people hurt us whether through actions or words or perhaps no actions or words at all. Circumstances hurt us. Our jobs fail us. Our cars fail us. Money might provide ease but easy doesn't always mean happy and it for sure is not fulfilling.  I believe something can only truly be fulfilling if you know the effects of whatever you are investing in are permanent, guaranteed to last. Absolutely nothing on this earth will last forever.  There are temporary fulfillments but what good are those when they are as I said, only temporary.

I need a faith like John's. To live out a life of hope. I want to be a "John" where even in my pain I can make others in pain, feel hopeful.  After all, without hope, there is no point to living. If I had his faith and did an act as noble as he did and I used my every capabilities (a word which I can thankfully still make plural) to know and serve Christ better, than I could have that joy too. It may sound weird and it might not make sense at first but it's real. And what John is going through and has done is not some church-babble. It's an action of radical faith, that despite his circumstances, allows him to find hope and joy in every day. and if he can do it so can I and so can you.

So friends, look for hope. Find The Source of it in your life and let it flow through you every minute of every day.

Love you.

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