Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The World is Here
I met Adam and his family because of a "God coincidence". His mom and dad walked into our church we served at one day needing to find an answer. They came to the right place. Our Pastor prayed with them and then led them to the Lord. Two days later on a Wednesday night, they were baptized.
Adam, their thirty year old son, was in the hospital under Hospice care near the church and his family had just been told that it was just a matter of time. Three years before, he had his hand crushed in a construction site accident. In order to save his life, the doctors had to give him a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, the blood given to him was infected. He and his wife found out a year later.
As one of the staff members of the church, we all agreed to go daily to the hospital and to be on call for the needs of this family. My day to go was on Tuesdays. I would go and quietly sit next to his bed and pray, or if he had visitors, would pray with them. We met regularly with Adam's parents and encouraged them and loved on them.
One day as I got ready to leave, my son asked if he could go with me. He was in eighth grade. I paused and considered his request and then said yes. On the way to the hospital, we talked about what he needed to do and how he was supposed to act. I did not tell him about Adam.
When we got to Adam's room, a friend of the family was already there. Adam was quietly sleeping but woke up when we came in. We greeted both, talked for a couple of minutes, and then I asked if we could pray. Adam nodded his head and reached out his hand and I took it. His friend looked at me in surprise: I looked at him and smiled and quietly said, "I know." My son had Adam's other hand.
We prayed, asked God for peace and comfort and healing. I heard Adam say, "Amen."
I gave Adam a quick hug and shook his friend's hand and we walked quietly to the elevator. My son was very quiet. As the elevator doors shut he asked, "He's dying, isn't he?" I replied, "Yes, he is."
As we walked back to the car, I took a glance at my son's face. I saw understanding, resolve and compassion. When we got to the car he asked, "He has Aids?" I shook my head yes.
He sat back in his seat and closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes there were tears in them. He said, "You know, I have watched the news and read the papers about the epidemic that is out there. But it was out there. It was distant and did not seem real. Now I know it is real. Adam is a real man with a real family and Aids is real." Tears welled up in eyes and he began to cry and I cried with him.
We both grabbed some tissue and wiped away tears. I started the car and headed home.
Adam died a week after that visit and his mom and dad went back home. It has been many years since that day.
I still think about Adam and the lessons I learned from being around him. I learned about peace in the face of fear; about compassion in the presence of prejudice. I learned about hope in uncertainty.
I learned that the world is a very small place and that it is here from my son.