There have been a few occasions during the course of the past year that I’ve written about experiences involving various individuals personally known to me. In every case, I have allowed those depicted complete anonymity more as a matter of respect than anything. After having explored the concept of this week’s column on Friday of last week and completed the process of painstakingly researching to verify any information presented is factual, I had an experience three days ago that helped me understand my reason for not having emailed my column to Mr. Gardner (pardon the reference Jamie) before Sunday. In this case, the references aren’t anonymous as I believe those individuals involved are deserving of mention.
I had discovered on Sunday, August fourteenth that a gentleman endearingly referred to as Pop had been in a rehabilitation facility in Jacksonville, FL and gone to visit him. As is the usual case on Sundays following church, I’ll typically go to visit anyone in the hospital or known to be feeling under the weather. So, after leaving service this past Sunday, I made a visit to the Consulate Rehabilitation facility where it was discovered the week prior that Pop had been for a couple months as I’d not been able to locate him during that time (but that’s another story within itself).
At any rate, I’d driven to the facility for a visit with Pop and was there a little more than an hour when Ms. Roselyn suddenly appeared in the room around 3:00p. She entered with a couple shopping bags that contained several nice shirts and pants for Pop as it was discovered he has been limited on appropriate clothing into which to change. Ms. Roselyn removed the various articles of clothing from the respective shopping bags, displayed them for Pop’s approval, and promptly put them into the small closet.
Of course, I had greeted Ms. Roselyn at the point she’d first entered the but could only sit watching in utter amazement as she meticulously organized and arranged Pop’s entire hospital room. Things were relocated to make them more easily accessible due to the fact he’s not currently able to walk. He’d opened a package of snacks that she promptly placed into a sealable Tupper Ware bowl to prevent them from getting stale. She inquired of him about the last time he’d gotten a hair cut and shave prior to speaking with me regarding making arrangements to possibly have a barber stop by the facility.
I guess this entire situation wouldn’t be considered as much of a stretch to most as it seems to simply be an account of someone assisting a dear friend in his time of need. The most surprising aspect is one significant detail I’ve chosen, to this point, to omit from exampling this charitable act of Christian love. Factually speaking, Pop and Ms. Roselyn “were” married for many years but life’s unfortunate circumstances resulted with them divorcing nearly two decades ago.
Ms. Roselyn had already interpreted the perplexed look on my face and responded without me ever posing the question. She straightly commented, “Because, Billy, he’s a human being who is deserving of the dignity and respect any man is due. What sense does it make to say I’m a Christian and sit up in church every Sunday but not do what I’m taught?”
That had to be one of the most humbling experiences I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing in recent years. For the remainder of the afternoon Sunday, I more-or-less put myself on trial questioning whether I’d have been able to display that same degree of compassion as demonstrated by Ms. Roselyn. There was never any doubt about the sincerity of her actions given that Pop is in a private room and she wouldn’t have had any idea anybody would be visiting him at that time.
Isaiah 58:10-11 (KJV) of the bible declares: And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: 11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
As is often the case with complacent Christians, I sometimes find myself becoming desensitized to the needs of others without realizing it. The Lord often allows the experience or witness of something that prompts us to adjust the focus on ourselves and see our own deficiencies. This situation helped me to understand the fact we are often called, as Christians, to be bigger than the circumstances of our situation. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.