Bad News


I learned some bad news today.  This year, I served on a team of folks who supported Bill whosr in his 50’s  as he went from living homeless to having an apartment.  He is an amazing man and has been through so much.  Things were looking up for him when he began dealing with severe heath issues.  One of the first times he noticed them was when he volunteered at the community garden with me at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.  He became dizzy and we had to stop working early.

This was the start of many, many doctor visits.  Things were complicated because at first he didn’t have heath insurance.  In the midst of trying to make his food stamps stretch, attending various faith communities and learning how to use a computer, his health deteriorated.  No one knew what was wrong and he kept losing weight, having difficulty speaking and walking. He had to move into a nursing home in Hendersonville since he cannot take care of his own needs now. 

He found out this week that he has Progressive Supranucleanr Palsy (PSP) which is a rare brain disorder.  It causes “serious and progressive problems with control of gait and balance, along with complex eye movement and thinking problems.”  He really has been an inspiration to me because he dealt with all the hassles of our broken health care system while at the same time maintaining a good attitude. I couldn’t help but be inspired by his strength and acceptance in spite of everything. 

Watching him deal with his struggles this year, helped put my own in perspective and for this I’m grateful.  Sometimes I get mad at God because I can’t do everything I want to do.  I watch others do these things and it seems so unfair to me.  This seems so unfair to me.  I try and remember God never promised life would be fair.  However, God did promise us that we aren’t alone in our struggles.  

In times like these, I try to remember Jesus words in Matthew 11. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

A yoke is a wooden bar with loops or bows at either end, fitted around the necks of a pair of oxen for harnessing them together.  To me this  this verse means I am harnessed to God and I don’t have to carry things alone.  As my friend Bill lays on his bed in the nursing home, he’s not alone either.     

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