Monday, January 09, 2006

Richard's Christmas


Richard was among a few of our Peace Park outreach friends (and now a volunteer) invited to my home for Christmas. He said he'd have to let me know, that he wanted to be wherever the Lord wanted him for Christmas dinner. I didn't see Richard on Christmas. He came to the office the next day all excited to tell me about his very special Christmas experience.

Richard is intelligent and caring. He served in the military as a Navy corpsman, about like what would be called a physician's assistant in the civilian world. He felt the Lord drawing him to volunteer at the VA Hospital on Christmas day as they are always short staffed then. They chose to put Richard on duty with a crotchety old man who spends his days complaining and swearing up a storm. The nurses have had their fill of his behavior. So Richard sat with the old man for a couple of hours listening to his complaining and swearing. Then there came a silence.

After a couple of minutes the old man turned to Richard and asked, "Richard, do you think this God thing is real?"

Richard answered, "I know God is real."

The old man thought for a minute and then said, "I haven't been to church since Henrietta died. I can't even remember how to say the Lord's prayer."

"Well, if you want to say the Lord's prayer you can just repeat it after me," Richard offered.

The old man ascented and they began. They never reached the end of the prayer, though, for the old man died before they reached the end. His last breath was spent in prayer -- all because Richard was right there where the Lord wanted him on Christmas day.

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