Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MS and the Kingdom of God - Part 3 in a series

Pastor Hugh (fictitious name) arrived at the home of one of his friends. She was only 45 years old and she had received a nasty surprise at the clinic. Yesterday, she had been diagnosed with MS. The doctor said, "You should plan your life accordingly," and told her of many organizations that could give her support.

As Pastor Hugh rang her door bell, he asked for grace from the Lord to understand how he could help, whatever that might mean. She let him in, and after an hour of explanations and several moments when tears flowed freely, they prayed. Pastor Hugh said, "I'll talk to many people. We'll get all the help you need."

"I can't stay here in this house," she sighed. "The hallway is too narrow for a wheel chair; the bedroom door is positioned in such a way as to prevent me getting in and out easily. The bathroom door is too narrow, and the counters in the kitchen are too high if I'm going to be in a wheel chair." She and her husband had examined all the factors listed in the MS booklet provided at the clinic.

Six months later, Pastor Hugh returned to the home, having been there dozens of times since his first visit. With him were three people from the church; they had formed a committee to widen support for their friend.

Also with them, were several members of the United Way. The committee members from the church were part of the United Way, seeking creative ways to help individuals who might stay in their homes if some restructuring was done. The entire house had undergone a transformation. The hall ways were wider, the doors placed so that a wheel chair could easily move in and out. And at the back, an elevator had been installed so she could lower herself from the patio to the ground, 7 feet below.

The entire project, in which the church made it's needs known in the community had cost $40,000. Through this six month effort, three families who had not attended worship for years had come to know Pastor Hugh and his wife and were now attending worship regularly. One of the fathers was attempting to get his life back together; alcohol had deeply affected his relationships. Another man, who had been living common-law, was attempting to get his life in order. The emotional needs in these homes would require counseling, new circles of friendships and much grace.

Faced with a disease that could gradually take away her God-given abilities, the woman called Pastor Hugh. "Guess what! I've been selected to help our mission with a job I can do from home. It will take three days a week, just right for me."

He put down the telephone and asked himself, "Where was our church in all of this? Where was the Kingdom of God? Thank you Lord, for the privilege of serving in your Kingdom." Looking at his agenda, he sighed. Some young people in high school wanted to talk to him about the Kingdom of God and  abuses in social media. "Help me, Lord," he prayed. "Tomorrow is going to be difficult."

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