My new friend . . .
. . . from the infusion room last week has given me lots of food for thought. Theologically, her story underscores my Calvinistic beliefs. Practically, her sweet, gentle spirit affirms the fact of promised peace when our eyes "are stayed on God." I hope she will be at the Cancer Center when I return this Thursday. The message I received from her is not new. It was a reminder of God's irresistible grace; a reminder of the importance of planting seeds; a reminder that someone plants, someone waters, someone nurtures, but God, alone, gives the increase.
"D" told me that she had been involved in an abusive relationship, that the man abusing her was also the one who got her hooked on drugs. She had wanted a loving relationship with husband and children, but instead has young adult children and no husband. Now, she has cancer and is in treatment. I don't know her prognosis, but I know she trusts God completely. Usually, I listen, allowing people to tell me what they want, but Thursday I asked if she would tell me how she got out of her addiction. She said she was preparing to "shoot up," had the needle in her arm, when she said to herself: "I don't want to live apart from God. I want to be with Him and I can't do that and be on drugs." She pulled the needle from her arm and stopped then and there. That had to be hard for her to do. Sometime, in some place, some person or persons told her about God and the life available to her if she put her trust in Him. It could have been in Vacation Bible School when she was a child, it could have been a parent or grandparent, it could have been a word spoken in passing. But, the Word had been planted and God used that Word to turn her around. Today, she professes that trust and is planting seeds herself.
How easy it is for us to slip into retirement, wondering what purpose there is left for our years. How natural it is for us to think that our usefulness to God is based on our productivity! I needed to be reminded that God can and does use us when we are led by His Spirit. "D" touched my life last week; made me remember . . .