Bill is his name. We walked into the room of his nursing home, and shut the door behind us as Dad goes
“remind me why we keep the door shut?”
“Its just quieter” he says with a shrewd expresion
The man speaks with honesty and his eyes behold a soft and tender Light.
My dad visits a man named Bill about once a week at the nursing home that is about 10 minutes from our house. This time I decided to go with him. Today was a hard one for some reason. On the drive to the nursing home I shared with my dad how I didn’t know why I was so down- but I just was. I was weary and prayerful about opportunities for my hands to be in community and share the love of Christ. We got to the nursing home and I really just wanted to stay in the car and be safe from being seen, pitied (due to blotchy face of tears). I was “protecting” myself from any efforts to possibly be uplifted by whatever the Lord had waiting the inside of the nursing home. My dad, tenderly, in his uniquely sensitive way, encouraged me to come inside with him. I know he doesn’t always, but he seems to always know best.
We get inside the room and what my dad has described as a Christ-loving, wise man begins to talk about the goodness of God in the midst of life- from birth in 1944 to today on May 13 of 2016.
Bill’s whole body was severely burned at the age of 7. He spent the next year of his life in a hospital in which he was often receiving treatments and surgeries.
He specifically described one nurse. He tried to remember her name…Eunicia, something like that.
He thought she was the devil himself. At 7 years old the boy would be sitting in his hospital chair and a woman named Eunicia would frequently come in to “torture” him.
This torturing, as Bill described, involved taking his severely burned and at that point-completely immobile hand, and moving it to each other finger on that hand. The pain was excruciating. It was the act of a villain- or so he thought.
“And I now have her to thank for my dexterity ”
Bill would do anything for that nurse today. Bill can move his hand because of that nurse going in and moving that thumb to each finger for minutes that seemed unbearable.
Words were exchanged regarding the freedom that he now had because of that pain, the usage and strength of his hand is because of that pain.
We talked about the specifics of the story a little more, as I sat there thinking- it was impossible not to see the picture.
That nurse “prying” his hand gave him dexterity. The pain produced life to his bones. Physically. Maybe he wasn’t holding onto control or things of this world- but at age 7 Bill was given mobility and usage of his right hand through extreme pain inflicted upon him.
We are given mobility through pain. God pries our fingers open, he allows the pain to fall so that a greater dependence, knowledge, life in Him can be had. The pain is not always so that we’ll always have working hands- but so that we might know His Great all encompassing love poured out for us, and live for Him- in a greater way.
Romans 8:18 says
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Glory comes through the fire.
1 Peter 4:12-19
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. …
We are not only just rejoicing because we know God has commanded us to: we rejoice because through pain, God rests upon us. His glory is revealed to us in those hard seasons, moments, deaths, sicknesses, drives to the nursing homes.
Whatever I am feeling, or not feeling. Whatever this weariness and sadness is, all current and real- it might be a time where God is using pain to glorify Himself and teach me dependence. Just like he hurt Bill every time He brought that nurse in to help him- He gave Bill dexterity, strength, and mobility.
Whatever you are walking in- look ahead. Rest in the one who gives dexterity in this life- through some pain, sadness, depression, and suffering. When we trust in Him- that He is the perfect Son of God who came to relieve our burdens and forgive our sins, and we receive and rest in that- the result is more of Him invading our hearts and lives. Does it get any better than that?
Truth so simple. But so clear today in that room with my dad and Bill.
Let us all “glorify God in that name”.
Hallelujah He is in control.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.