Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request

When I was 13 or 14 years old, I had a close friend named C. In getting to know him, I also got to know his parents (Miss B and Mr. B). Mr. B was a jockey and racehorse trainer, and Miss B was a devoted wife and mother. I enjoyed getting to know them, and they rather "adopoted" me as one of their own.

Through the years many things changed; time passed; I grew up. At some point in time, C and I parted ways for a multitude of reasons. But Miss B always kept in touch with me, writing letters every so often. After school I enlisted in the Navy ... life continued .. and Miss B wrote letters. Then I married DadToCherubs. God blessed us with a child, then our second child, and then our third. It was when our first three children were still very young that we moved to Tennessee. (Miss B and Mr. B had moved south several years earlier.) Today, Mr. B and Miss B live close-by in a neighboring town. And through the years they have become part of our family -- they are still like second parents to me, are very dear friends of our family, and are like grandparents to our children. Needless to say, we all love Mr. B and Miss B dearly !!

It was determined several years ago that Mr. B had Parkinson's Disease in addition to a few other managable health problems. At first there were only tremors and a few "symptoms"; medications helped stem the tide of Parkinson's for a while. But in just the last few years, Parkinson's has really taken a toll. Miss B has been caring for him for him as this terrible disease has advanced, tending to her husband's needs day and night. She tirelessly tends to Mr. B, often reminding me (and herself too I suppose) "in sickness and in health, till death do us part". True love from a true wife ! And now, over the course of the last several days, Mr. B's health has taken a major turn for the worse; his kidneys have stopped working completely and his other organs are slowing. He is not eating or drinking at all, and is nearly unable to sit up, much less stand, anymore. He is only awake during those times when the pain is just too much to bear, and stays awake until the pain medicine brings much-needed relief to his broken body. Hospice has been called and the nurses are visiting, both saying that Mr. B is not likely to last much longer. He knows. He has said, in those brief awake moments, that he is going .... that he is going soon ....

Please pray for Mr. B, that whatever time he has left is without agony and pain. He has suffered so much in recent years as age and Parkinson's have ravaged his body. Please God grant him relief.

And please pray for Miss B as she tenderly cares for her husband of so many years; she is devoted and determined. And she is heartbroken, as she helplessly watches her husband of many years suffer, knowing that she can do nothing that will ease his distress. She loves him ... as she always has.

But there are more URGENT needs than these .... they need you to please pray for their hearts ! Even though they have tried to forget Him, God has not ever forgotten them ! You see, many years ago they were Christians. They prayed and worshipped and commited their lives and their family to Him. They were involved in church and were counted among the faithful. I was just 20yo when the difficulties began ... an awful span of two or three awful years. First, their youngest son (my friend C) had begun running with the wrong crowd, using drugs, and getting into major trouble, ultimately ending with him serving a sentence of several years in a Maryland jail. Then, within those same few years while C was in jail, Mr. B and Miss B buried their other two adult children (one age 30 lost in a fatal car accident, and the other age 27 lost to drug addiction that continued despite a jail sentence and repeated detox treatments). Then, after his release from jail, C moved to California and fell back into his old habits of bad company and substance abuse. And he spent a few more years in a California jail for drugs. While C was in jail this time, Mr. B and Miss B moved south from Maryland to Tennessee ... an effort to create a new beginning, they thought, without the painful memories and saddness surrounding them. They stumbled ... they faltered ... their faith was shaken ... and according to them, all was lost. They stopped believing. They were overcome with frustration and despair, even in their new home with their new beginning. They stopped going to church, stopped praying, stopped worshipping ... their hope disappeared. They often shared aloud their "thoughts" ... did God ever really care ? ... Did He ever love them ? ... Why did He fail to protect them ? ... Why didn't He protect their children ? ... Why did God desert their family when He was needed most ? ... Why did He let all of these awful things happen to their family ? Their aching hearts have never healed, and those doubts and fears (and perhaps blame ?) have remained strong, perhaps growing stronger even, for all of these years. They still mutter those same thoughts, even today. They say they used to be Christians ... but not anymore. It is in this dark place that Mr. B and Miss B have remained ... for nearly 20 years now. I have told them over and over that God has not forgotten them ... that He was with them through all of those tragic times ... that He has never stopped calling to them .... that He has never lost hope that they would return to Him. I have told them again and again of His Love for them. But .... they still have broken hearts and remain apart from their Loving Father. Please pray for these two broken hearts, that they might return to God, who has loved them and grieved with them through all of these long sad years.

And finally, please pray for me today. It is between them and this dark place that I will stand today ... again. I am going over there to visit ... and to take some food ... and to love them ... and to help out with some household chores ... but most of all I am going to "stand in the gap" once again. Please join me today in praying that they finally lift their eyes from the darkness to the light of Our Father, that their doubts and fears can finally be removed, that they can truly feel the loving arms of God surrounding them and drawing them close. Please pray that they will soften the facades of their broken hearts and give themselves over to Almighty God again. Please pray that the Love of God flows powerfully through me and floods their hearts .... that God grant me a word if He should have one ... that He may break through the pain once and for all, and speak to their hearts ... that they might hear Him, once again.

Please pray ......

UPDATE: Bill passed away on Monday, April 27th. Please keep his wife in your prayers. They met when she was 10yo and he was 12yo ... and this Sunday Bill would have turned 82yo.

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