It is very easy to allow oneself to ignore the world around you when you are in crisis. Even post-crisis, I was tempted to ignore my identity as a Christian and neglect the Golden Rule. However, God in His grace would not permit me to forget who I was and Whose I was.
Earlier this week there was a man in the waiting room in tears and I heard his daughters on the phone saying that his wife had just been intubated because of pneumonia. To be gut level honest, I wanted to keep walking, I didn’t want to enter into that with someone else when I was just coming out of it. However, I couldn’t ignore him, I had to go to him.
I went up and introduced myself and I said, “I couldn’t help but overhear that your wife was just put on a ventilator. I know exactly how you are feeling, and I understand this is very scary.” I learned his name is Albert and his wife’s name is Charity. I then asked him if I could pray for him, and he said, “Yes. Please.”
Right there, in the ICU waiting room Albert, his daughters, and I pleaded with Jesus to heal his wife, Charity. We hugged and then talked a little bit. I learned that he and his wife are originally from Nigeria and that his wife and family had recently moved to Houston from Atlanta. The apartment they were staying in was infested with black mold, but they didn’t know it at the time (the daughter paid to have it tested after her mom became sick). So, they are now living in a hotel down near Greenspoint mall. When he found out that I am a pastor, he said he felt blessed by God that someone was there who could minister to them.
I know what my mental health friends are thinking, “Casey, you’re dealing with your own junk right now, be careful not to take on too many other burdens.” On one hand, I completely agree, and believe that it is not wise for me to carry their burden for them. However, on the other hand, I know what it is like to be in that situation, but my experience is different. It is different because I have a great church surrounding me, and a great church who sent us here, and great churches in the area who have reached out to support us, and friends, and family, and strangers, and you… These people do not have anyone, but themselves, and I cannot stand by and ignore their sorrow.
Last night I was talking with my friends Stephani Brooks and Brandi Hyde and promised them that I wouldn’t do what I normally do and start a new ministry in response to what I’m going through. I will keep that promise. I will dance vigorously on that line however, and invite my friends at my church, and the churches in and around The Woodlands area to prayerfully consider how we should respond to these brothers and sisters in Christ.
This afternoon I saw Charity’s daughters and son in tears outside her room and I asked what was going on. Apparently she was continuing to worsen, so I asked if I could pray with them, and they invited me into her room and we prayed for Charity. We asked Jesus to heal her for His glory, and for her families joy. We prayed that He would guide the doctors and use both natural and supernatural means to heal her. She had since gone into surgery.
As my wife and daughter have received God’s grace in abundance through His healing hand, and through your prayers and support, I am hoping that Charity’s family will too, have reason to rejoice very soon.
Friends – They have no one here. They are living out of a hotel in Greenspoint. They are scared. They are prayerful. What can we/should we do?
If you have any suggestions of how we can help, you can leave a comment below or contact me. I might see if someone at C3 would be willing to take point on loving this family, but I hope we can honor Jesus in how we love this family. To be honest, I don’t have the strength to go at it alone, and my top priority right now are my girls. So, I thought I’d throw it out there and see what the Lord might do through you.
Pray for Steph as she is waiting to meet Abigail for the third first time. (She has met her twice, but because of the meds she had been on, she does not remember it.) She is very anxious to meet her. Also, we are hoping that a regular room will come available so that Braelyn can see her mommy, and so that Steph can begin the process of directly nursing Abby.
If nothing else, let’s remember Charity and her family in our prayers.