Friday, October 29, 2010

Mary. Her name is Mary.

Have you ever tried to discuss the condition of our nation with a somewhat hysterical liberal? I highly recommend it...just for fun. I hate to see anyone have blood shoot out of their eyes that leads to a hemorrhage and all that. But given the time in our nation and where we live in our nation, finding a liberal to annoy is not all that hard.

In NYS you can now keep your kids on your health insurance until they are in their late 20's (26 or 29. I can't remember) and I find that shocking. That is not a child, that is a mooch. I get to have an opinion on that one. Why? Because I did not have health insurance from the age of 18 to the age of 25 when I started working as a nurse? Did I ever get sick? Yup...paid for it out of pocket, monthly until the bill was paid. Did I worry at times? Sure. But it was not what decided my life. I was young and healthy and I had hard work to do.

And what of my mom? We lived those last three years she was on life support with out insurance. I've told you all that before. I begged, borrowed, and well you know for whatever care I could get her. There was even one time the hat was passed at church to get her meds paid for so I didn't have to dip into the mortgage or food or whatever money we may have had. It was the hardest time in our lives and frankly, it sucked. There were years I thought about that time like I was living in Hell. It was the single most stressful situation I have ever been in. And I was in it for years and years on end...although I was a size 2 during it all and I looked fantastic from the stress and anxiety diet!

And I count my blessings that we met along the way. Mrs. Dunn who faithfully brought Mom communion EVERY DAY. Mrs. Stahl, who made sure I made it to RN. Annie's folks who made sure we stayed in our home. The respiratory therapist who threw me the left over albutoral for Mom's nebulizer treatments. Her doctor how made a couple of house visits with out pay. My brother who sent me to California to get a break during it all. Our beloved "Mommy Sitters" who did everything from keep her company to iron my blouses. Oh did I ever see the very Glory of God in the Body of Christ!

Do I wish anyone the hard times we saw? No, of course not. Not my worst enemy. But hard times will hit every individual and every family in our nation. Simply because we live in a fallen world. What I do wish them is the joy of seeing the Glory of God in the Body of Christ.

Case in point, a dear friend told me a story about her supermarket trip the other day. Mind you she wasn't bragging to me. We tend to be each other's accountability and we get to share with each other what God has done for each of us. And she was thrilled that God would even ask her to be a part of His work.

"Miss J" (name changed because she is humble) saw a homeless woman in town. She has seen the woman before and had been moved to tears when she saw the woman pushing her grocery cart in the snow last winter. Miss J saw her outside the super market the other night. She had a very real sense that she needed to go and bless her. The Holy Spirit would not let her go.

"Give her everything in your wallet."

And so Miss J left her grapes in her own shopping cart and followed the homeless woman to the bench she was sitting on, with all her worldly goods in her own cart.

"May I sit with you?" Asked Miss J.
"You don't have to." Said the homeless woman.
"I know. But I would like to. May I?"
"Yes."
"What is your name?"
"Mary."

And so the conversation went on for a while. Miss J gave her all the money she had in her wallet. She learned that Mary was the daughter of a police officer and after her parents died, she remained in the house her parents had for many years. When she could no longer pay the taxes she was evicted. Mary is in her late fifties or early sixties...or maybe the age is only the way she looks after years of being on the street.

Is Mary crazy? Maybe. Is she mentally ill? Not that Miss J could tell. But maybe. Mary's face was clean and she still has the good upbringing to be polite. Even homeless, Mary is still a lady.

When Miss J and I talked over Mary on the phone yesterday we were left in the quandary of how do we help a Mary? What is the Lord calling on us to do? How do we best serve her? Can we get her a warm shower? A job? Will she work? Where can she live this winter? Do her feet hurt from all that walking? Is there any family? Is there a government program for her?

"I don't want social services." Mary explained.

I don't know if that is her crazy showing or if she is a libertarian who wants smaller government.
Don't matter to us anyway. We are left with all this information and no idea what to do with it. So we start with prayer.

"Do you know God loves you?" Asked Miss J.
"Does He?" Mary asked back.
"Yes. Do you have a church family?" Continued Miss J.
"No. I don't go to any church."
Miss J didn't push. "Okay."

As the Body, we start with prayer. Miss J knew the voice of God and obeyed. Maybe her encounter with Mary, blessing her with some money, and some company is all God intends for Miss J to do right now in terms of hands and feet faith. But we have a God who does not just ask us to obey Him and then leaves us with the overwhelming task of fixing it. Now we do something that perhaps no one else has done. Now we pray, for that homeless lady...Her name is Mary. And He adores her. He knows her. He knew her name before He hung a single star in the sky and He asked us to join Him in His work. For now, that work is prayer.

"Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

A non-believer won't understand that. But we serve a God who will availeth much...and we come in prayer for Mary with expectancy that our prayers will availeth much for her.

Mary. Remember her, won't you? Pray we get to watch His Glory fall on her.

Her name is Mary.

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