It seems at times that life comes at you so hard that you wished you could just step out of its way. Already in a state of mourning over the certain passing of a loved church member I went to visit my grandmother last night at her assisted living home. As I entered the room she was sitting in her chair by her bed with a look of shear panic in her eyes. She began to babble about there being two men outside her room with guns who were shooting at each other and how they needed her help. This, of course was a hallucination and what I hope can be chalked up as a result of her Alzheimer’s disease. As I sat there and talked to her and tried to calm her down she began to discuss how frustrating it is to tell people something is going on and people tell her it is only real to her. This incident is only one in a long list of similar ones. As we talked more grandma began to open up about her awareness that the things weren’t real and the fact that she believes it is Satan trying to cause her to stumble. This, I could not disagree with and she verbalized real fear over her ability to overcome this. She wonders why God is allowing this to happen and is confused over why she cannot simply move on to her reward.
I reminded grandma of 1 Peter 1 and the fact that through these trials we are reminded of our love for Christ and why we do travel this pilgrim land. I reminded grandma that she has been preparing her whole life for this and that if she relies on her study and faith in Christ that she can overcome these terrible afflictions. We then prayed together and I feel confident that God heard my prayer and will answer it in His way and time. I left confident, not knowing that my faith in these words would be tested shortly.
I got home about 7:45 and ate a quick dinner and then began to play with the boys. I was rejoicing over the fact that a brother in Christ was on his way to meet the King. It was awesome and we were having a blast and then about five minutes until 9:00 my phone rang. I received a phone call that one of my very good friends, Mike Real, was involved in a motorcycle accident and that his wife wanted me to come to their house. I hugged the kids, told Joy not to wait up, and left immediately. While driving I was making phone calls to rally Christian soldiers when I received a call from Mike’s daughter Lanice. She told me Mike was gone….. He’s dead….. I told Lanice I was on my way and tried to remain as confident and strong as I could. When she called, I had Jason on the other line and I know I said to Jason (I love you man) that this on top of John’s movement out of this life was more than I could bear. I made a few other phone calls and then it was just me, the night, the road, and my thoughts and emotions. My mind immediately turned to the conversation that I had with grandma earlier in the evening. Now my faith is being tested. My strength is up for display. My parachute of scripture is in need of deployment.
After arriving at Linda’s house I stopped for a second before getting out of my car and I prayed that Christ would shine through me and that His love, compassion, and joy in the fact that not only one Christian brother was on their way to meet Him, but that one has been sent ahead of him. While there are no words to make the hurt stop, there are hugs, held hands, shared tears, and most of all prayers that can numb the hurt for just a moment. The rally of Christian soldiers last night, today, and I know in the upcoming days has been amazing to watch.
I debated over even posting about this night but I think Mike would be disappointed in me had I not. Mike always pushed me to let go of myself and to follow my heart.
If you know me, then you know Mike and probably his family. If you want to leave comments, prayers or condolences for his family, do so by clicking “comments” below this post and I will print them out and make sure the family gets them.
Mike, I love you.
Linda, Lanice, Renee, I love you and your families.
Will and Barry, stay strong.