“We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of everyone, but especially of those who have faith. This is why we work and struggle so hard.” – 1 Timothy 4:10
"Your father has had a stroke." The news came in a phone call that woke me the day after Dad's surgery.
Rushing to the hospital I found Dad partially paralyzed on his right side and speaking gibberish. Looking into his eyes, I could tell that he understood what we were saying, but the stroke had left him unable to communicate with us.
As the day progressed, his condition remained unchanged. He grew more frustrated with his inability and our lack of understanding. By the time the neurologist arrived in the late afternoon, he had given up. He didn't even try for the doctor. I watched the doctor just write him off.
The room was now empty of others and hope. Despair hung like a heavy cloud over us.
I prayed. My brother paced and walked around the nurse's station. I'm sure that he was praying, too.
Dad started making noise. My brother came in and looked at me. "I think that he's trying to hum something."
My brother went for another lap and came back. "I think that he's humming ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ "
After another lap, as he entered the room, Dad sung out the words to “Onward Christian Soldiers,” as right as he ever got them. After this he was able to speak, no more gibberish.
A couple of weeks after he got home, I asked him about it. "Dad, I knew that you had given up. I could see it in your eyes. In your despair did you turn to the Lord and praise Him?"
"That was exactly what I did," he replied.
Dad's example of turning to the Lord and praising Him has inspired me to do the same. I haven't experienced miracles, but my attitude is changed. God is our hope in the midst of darkness. His light can never be overcome.
St. John UMC