“Your Grace and Mercy, brought me through, I’m living this moment because of you. I want to thank you and praise you too, Your Grace and Mercy brought me through. Justice demanded, that I should die but Grace and Mercy said oh, no, oh, no, oh, no, We’ve paid the price”.
Last week I shared my experience of walking through the valley in the shadow of death. Another part of the story is what my parents did in telling me the story of how they got over in a country and town that was not so kind to them. The only thing they had was their fai th in God and His son Jesus Christ. My mother’s favorite song was “Your Grace and Mercy”. When I closed last week’s editorial I said Goodness and Mercy was a larger shadow and would follow me all the days of my life. That was true not only for me but my son as well.
Because of my early experience with lockjaw and my parents telling me the story of how they got through it prepared me for an experience that happened to my son. It was the summer of 1995 when Hardy II broke his femur bone and had a medical condition called a fat embolism. My wife nor I had never heard of such a condition but for 16 days we learned a lot, it was our faith and what my dad and mom had taught me of my experience that brought us through. I cannot share all of the things we went through but I want to share a few. They had to place Hardy in an induced coma on a life support system and told us this is all we can do. This is when I said to my wife, “I now know what to do.” So we placed our hands on our son and turned it over to God and prayed for everyone and everything that came into contact with him.
Some people thought we were in denial of his soon to be death while others joined in prayer throughout the medical center, community, country and foreign lands. God sent Christians of various denominations to be his nurses and they were some good ones. He sent a doctor from Vietnam, who could not practice medicine in America, but was working as a respiratory therapist to regulate his machine for proper breathing. He sent every race and creed of medical personnel to administer to his needs. But most of all because of the fai th we demonstrated, others returned to Christ. For example: staff members in my office sought places of worship to join; hospital employees prayed on elevators and in groups; doctors allowed my wife to pray over their hands before they touched Hardy; and Brother Roy Harris had open prayer over his radio program. There were so many people praying that a lady from the Mi ddl e Eas t came to me and said, “Hardy I don’t bel ieve but I prayed for your son last night. ” The telephone operators were swamped with callers offering prayer for him. Even the doctor who operated on him knew something was different and asked one of his staff members, “who did I operate on?”
One man who had a daughter in a room next to Hardy’s stopped me on a Sunday morning and asked “how can you be so calm.” I am a nervous wreck. I could not think of what to say but shared wi th him the story of what my mother told me and also the story of Abraham having to kill his only son. “You have to have fai th that God gives and God takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” We prayed and he broke down and cri ed and three days later his daughter came out of her coma and five days later he took her home.
When they told us they were going to remove al l of the tubes from hi s body to see if he could make it own his on, I picked up the Bible to read his favorite scripture which is Proverbs 3:5-6 but instead an angel turned to John 11 and in bold red letters, verse 4 stood out alone: “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glori fied through it”. I got on the phone and cal led my wi fe and read i t to her. She said well Jesus surely had been glori fied. Now Hardy II and his family are part of my team of caregivers just another example of Grace and Mercy following my family and I around in the valley in the shadow of death.
So, when the doctor told me I had ALS with a five year life expectancy, Grace and Mercy again said, “Oh, No, Oh, No, Oh, No We’ve already paid for his ticket and he does not get off at this stop.”
It is important to tell the story of who brought you over the rough humps of life. It is important that we tell the story of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to those who will listen this Holy weekend. There are many who have not heard the story and many who have heard but do not bel ieve the story. This is where your personal story should and can be told to those who wish to listen.