60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at http://www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.
Day 2 by Aaron Conrad
“Do we see the thousands of people around us each day and stand in awe at God’s creation?” –Live Second, 3.
About 5 years ago I had my gall bladder removed. It’s the first and only surgery I’ve ever had. When I came out of the surgery I was placed in a room with another man. The curtain in between us could not hide the sounds of pain, suffering, and sadness on the other side. As I moved quickly from recovery to going home, I was a witness to someone less fortunate. While I cannot begin to explain my sincere appreciation for a quick and painless operation, I missed my moment that day. It was the kind of moment mentioned on day two of our 60 day living second journey. What hurt me more than stitches and soreness was the heartbreak that God gave me a chance. He gave me a moment and I totally missed it.
As frustrated as I was with myself, I wondered how God felt. He gave me an opportunity to live my favorite quote: you can say what you think, but you will live what you believe. I missed it. I had the opportunity to be Jesus to this man made in His image. I didn’t know a thing about him. I didn’t know his story. I just know that I was moved by my lack of response. I had a moment to see someone as the God of this universe sees them and I missed it.
When I returned home that evening (I healed very quickly), I felt the weight of that moment. I saw the face of that man over and over again as I walked by his bed to leave. I re-lived the sounds and the pain he was in. I knew I had to do something. I couldn’t let that moment slip away.
The next day, I took the opportunity to go and visit the man I shared a hospital room with. His name was Mike and I’d like to introduce you to him.
Mike is a Vietnam Vet who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He had suffered for decades. He is married to his 5th wife who recently had her gall bladder removed too. She has been diagnosed with the disease Lupus. Mike’s 4th wife died in 2003 of a heart attack. He was the one that had to give the approval to remove her from life support. He was being discharged the day I returned to the hospital to go to rehabilitation to gain strength.
Mike said that when the doctor informed him of the news that he “prayed to God as soon as he found out.” He told me that the doctor said, “he had never, in all his years of medicine, seen anyone react that way when told of this news.” Mike prayed and explained that God allows things into our lives for a purpose.
While Mike’s story might seem tough, I was blessed to have spent some time with him that day.
Before I left, I asked Mike if I could pray with him. He said we could and we did. I don’t know that I will ever see Mike again this side of Heaven. I’m glad that God allowed me the opportunity to make amends for missing my moment that day. Not only did I make a new friend, I learned a valuable lesson. I was extended the grace of 24 hours to make that moment right. There will be days when we’re not as fortunate.
Never miss your moment friends. You never know how someone created in the image of our God will forever impact your life too.
Next for the 60-Days-of-Second:
Day 3- “The ‘Why’ and the ‘Where’” by Aaron Conrad