I Saw Jesus Today - Part 2
Sometimes you meet someone and you just know there's nothing there in terms of potential friendship material. Even when you meet someone who has a need and you help feel that need, sometimes you know it's a one-time encounter. Meeting Cathy was not one of those cases. During our initial conversation we had in my car, I felt like telling her she "had me" at "give to others." I like to surround myself with people that have that kind of heart to help, so in my view, I made a new friend. In fact, just before she got out of the car, she again mentioned she was going to try to pay me back. My response was, "All I want is your friendship."
I told my wife all about Cathy and we both wanted to do something more. Our initial plan was to get some sisters in the Lord together and take Cathy out for a "just because you are you" celebration, but nobody in our area responded. We do have support from a handful of non-local friends, and for that we are truly grateful. As far as the in-person contact though, Cindy and I are apparently on our own.
I called Cathy Tuesday and found out she was in the hospital for surgery(ies) on her leg. I talked to her for about half an hour. She told me they were removing several bone chips from under her kneecap and also sawing down the bones that were breaking through her skin. I am not clear whether she had already had one surgery at that point or not, but she told me that since I had prayed for her leg, it has felt better than it ever has since the accident. She also told me that all the hate, animosity and anger she had toward the family members (and others) who had abused her lifted off of her when I prayed, and I hadn't even specifically prayed for that. She said she didn't believe in my God and I told her she didn't have to to be my friend. I reiterated to her that I'm her friend because we have a common heart for helping others, and that's it. If she never goes to church, I'm still her friend. Then my wife talked to her for 45 minutes. Wow, my wife was amazing - loving yet bold. I was watching the boys while she talked in the basement, but I caught bits and pieces. Later Cindy told me that Cathy said she was an atheist, to which Cindy replied, "No, I know you're not, I believe you're tender toward God even if you don't want to admit it." Cathy replied that she had not been for years, but all that had changed when I prayed for her. She FELT God's presence and was touched that I was not afraid to put my hand directly on her skin graft (FYI, it was the lower leg, so neither her nor I considered that inappropriate). I had felt absolutely nothing when I prayed, but I know enough not to go by feelings. God is so far beyond what we feel or don't feel, and He is certainly not limited by the fact that we are imperfect vessels (trust me, if He uses me, He can use anyone). He is an awesome God!
Cindy and I tried to visit Cathy in the hospital on Wednesday but we had to turn back due to construction traffic (even without traffic it is an hour's drive one way). I called her yesterday because we wanted to try again, but she had already been released and was staying with a friend. This time when I spoke to her I could tell she was in a great deal of pain. Cindy and I are going to try to visit her Saturday afternoon and take her some food.
To those of you who DID contact me, you have no idea what it means to me. Yes, this woman has a past, but don't we all? And yes, she has some things going on in her present as well, but we are called to be ministers of reconciliation. There's something God wants to do. This was not a chance encounter. Thank you for reading this and for caring. I appreciate your time and your prayer support. More soon!