Light in the Darkness
by Martha Harman
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 – Psalms 119:97-120, 81, 82; Jeremiah 8:18; 9:6; Romans 5:1-11; John 8:12-20
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12-20
As a teenager he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. As an adult he had suffered a traumatic brain injury trying to race a train across the tracks. With his cognitive impairment he could no longer care for himself or speak clearly. Deserted by his family and friends, he became a ward of the state, and was committed to an institution with a court-appointed conservator to make important decisions regarding his care for the rest of his life. He lives on the fringe of society, having very little contact with anyone other than his fellow residents and the facility staff. He is 66 years old.
On behalf of his conservator, I was making an unannounced visit to check his well-being. There he sat in his wheelchair, disheveled, in his untidy room. He smiled and with slurred speech said he was happy I came and reached toward me with wide open arms to give me a hug. I requested housekeeping tidy his room and a nursing assistant to change his soiled clothing. Everything was in order; he was safe and being treated with dignity.
As I prepared to leave, I leaned slightly forward to say goodbye. Without hesitation, he reached toward me with his unsteady hand, gently grasped the cross hanging from around my neck, and tenderly kissed it. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and then announced, “I’m going to Heaven”. I was stunned at such an unexpected, profound act of worship and humbled that God allowed me to witness it.
What peace it is to know that for this man, whom many had given up on, God has brought to the One True Light, Christ. Thanks be to God.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Image by Joan Sorolla (used by permission via Creative Commons).