Tuesday, August 23, 2016
#TheLostRoadtoHope #DontSurviveLive #Dreamcast
#wearebeggingyouamell #whynotamell #roadtoamell #doitfortheartamell
From The Lost Road to Hope
Chapter 20: The quiet chaos before the storm
Matt continues, “Each patient immediately becomes a part of his extended family. He feels every bit of their struggle and pain. No one celebrates more when they achieve remission or success in treatment; no one suffers more when there is a setback. In that way, we are very much alike. As a pastor when you fail a soul who comes to you for guidance, sometimes as their very last chance for hope, no matter what you say or do you just can’t bring them to the peace they so desperately seek, you can’t help but feel a level of uselessness that is almost crippling. It’s something you can never prepare yourself for, not only do you feel like you have failed them, but worse, you feel like you failed God.”
I never stepped foot in a church before, I was afraid I would burst into flames as soon as I walked in the door.
“I counseled him after he lost both his wife and son,” Matt continues. “We spent a lot of time together; long before I knew about my own illness. I never let on but with each meeting I felt more and more useless to him. No amount of seminary training ever prepares you to deal with real tragedy. Every scripture feels stale and clichéd. Even though you may have absolute faith in it, it somehow gets lost in translation when relaying it to someone who is truly hurting. In the end, I just tried to be there for him, not as a pastor but as a friend. Even then I felt like I failed him because nothing I seemed to say or do helped him. I saw him fall deeper and deeper into his own personal darkness.”
“But then, when I believed he had slipped into the abyss, out of nowhere, there was a change. I saw a man worn by his sadness suddenly revitalized and I had nothing to do with it. Secretly, selfishly, I was very jealous. For the longest time I refused to ask him what had caused his wondrous turn around. But I am
ashamed to say, my curiosity finally got the best of me and I asked him during one of my sessions with him.”
Alex remains silent. I knew something had happened to Doc, but never found out what it was. He had all those pictures in his office; I thought his family was alive. How come I remember that and so little else?
“Then I found out about my disease. By the time I reacted to it my cancer spread faster than it could be treated. My wife had left as soon as she found out I was sick, and the church abandoned me almost a year to the day. I was alone, even unable to feel the presence of God. I was lost in my own trials and forgot what hope ever looked like. I had reached a low I didn’t know existed. That moment you realize the war has been lost and now it was just coming to grips with the terms of surrender.”
How I am supposed to believe in a God at all?
As if all that I have been through wasn’t proof enough, even the preacher gets left out in the cold. I mean, do you think all that has happened would have happened, if God did exist!
“But it then I realized a great truth, God is silent for a reason. He stays silent so we become so desperate to hear him that we clear away ever other voice that could distract us or any of our own preconceived answers. We become humbled and surrender ourselves to the knowledge that it is only God who can rescue us. At that moment, after weeks of torturous quiet, he chose Rick as His ambassador. He clearly saw me losing hope and that was when he told me his story. Every detail of what you had done for him. It had as significant of an impact on me as it did on him. Who would have thought? It really is such a very small world, smaller than we can ever imagine.”
“We are all connected like an organic, living jigsaw puzzle oblivious to the big picture. Different pieces that make up a beautiful whole. It is God who fits the pieces perfectly together when the timing is right. I have witnessed that every moment of my life, and yet during my own tribulation, how quickly I forgot it. We never know the impact we have on people, like ripples in the water after a pebble is dropped in, spanning out indefinitely. At that point in time, you saved my life too. How would I ever know that I would have the chance to tell you that? I may have not known you in that waiting room by your face, but once I heard your name, I knew you very well.”
I am utterly floored by everything he has just said, speechless.
Apparently so is Alex.
How do you respond to something like that?