(Despite having this post ‘written’ in my mind on Saturday, it’s just now making it on to
paper the screen.)
The God-sighting comes like clockwork. Month after month after month without doubt. The envelope slides through the mail slot into the basket strategically placed to catch it and all other envelopes, flyers, and cards.
Most people cringe at the sight of that four-letter “b” word that many “William”s or “Robert”s around the world also use as their name. Yet when this bill arrives I find joy, for I realize how blessed I am.
Nine months ago yesterday I got heat exhaustion, passed out and ended up taking a little ambulance ride to a West Virgina emergency room while away at Workcamp with the high school youth. While I still am paying for that ride and visit, each month as the bill comes, I find a growing appreciation for the ways in which God provides.
- People were able to respond quickly and get the help I need.
- The reaction time was quick, the hospital was clean and for the exception of one nurse who seemed to be having a bad day, I was treated with respect and care.
- I was surrounded by youth and adults, staffmates and family members, near and far encouraging me and praying for me.
- There was a ready supply of IVs and clean water to rehydrate me and get me on my way.
- Within a few hours I was out of the hospital and back at camp, I was led to an airconditioned room to rest and recover with youth occasionally checking in to see if I needed anything.
- Upon arriving home, I was greeted with more caring hearts who nursed me back to health, brought me food, did my laundry, and cared for my confused, exhausted heart.
- Within a few weeks, no one would have even guessed anything had happened.
Many people around the world aren’t so lucky.
If they get sick, they only water to drink is the same water that likely GOT them sick.
They don’t have a hospital “just down the street” nor an ambulance to take them there. If they do, the facility is often anything but clean and if they have the money to get treatment there, they likely will end up more sick than when they went in due to unsanitary conditions.
Due to illness raging through their homes and cities taking life after life after life, many are left without anyone to care for them, support them, or encourage them.
Instead of recovery, they hope to simply stay alive.
So yes, I see God in that monthly medical bill that arrives like clockwork. But I also see God right in the midst of the horrible conditions I described. I’ve walked with some of these people in Haiti, in Uganda, and I trust that God loves them just as much as he loves me. Sure, I wish and pray that he would just make their pain go away; I ponder how I might be able to help; I wonder at times why I live in a place where such great care is possible and they don’t. But I never doubt God’s presence… and in some ways I think maybe they see God at work more than we do; their eyes are open … looking. God is all they have. In reality, God is all we need. Whereas I might find it easy to complain about having to pay another bill each month, they rarely complain about the horrible conditions in which they live.
Instead, they find reasons to praise God for just another day to be alive.
Today, as I write this check and drop it in the mail, I choose to do the same.