Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Of Miracles and Mercies

I just got back from the backwoods of Maine bunking with my sister Victoria and brother Keith, the former driving in from Michigan and the latter living near my other brother, Willie, whose wife is in the final states of Stage IV lung cancer. I was blessed to be able to spend more than a week with my sister-in-law and brother in her last days. She was still clinging to life when I left, and I was so happy to have been able to see her while she was still alive. We had time to talk, including about the big issues of life, and, more important, we had time to pray together. There is something very powerful about sharing end-of-life prayers with someone.

Among the other things I did to help was notice that my brother, whose job ends in a couple of weeks, was low on food. So, my other brother and I went to the grocery store to see if we could stock his larder for a little bit so that he would not have to worry about shopping or finding money for food for a while, to make life more convenient and financially easier. We planned on getting as many canned goods as we could: fruits, vegetables, meats, soups, juices, complete meals. We also picked up boxes of cereal. I figured I still had a couple hundred dollars on my maxed-out-from-travel credit cards, and the full grocery cart should have cost us that amount. We had piled in enough food to keep Willie fed through Christmas, based on his analysis. The total grocery bill, amazingly, was $102. Every single thing we put our hand on was on sale! God is good like that, you know. The little miracles are often every bit as exciting as the big ones.

And that little miracle led to a small tender mercy: it gave me $50 for a Subway gift card so that he does not have to return home and cook meals these last few days he has left with his wife.

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