I was into the fifth day of neglecting my daily reading of the Bible, knowing I couldn’t continue down this road any longer. My walk with God has been at times a two-step forward, one-step back routine, but it had been a while, since I drifted for that many days without studying His Word. It all came together that afternoon, while sitting in my back yard. I prayed before picking up my reference Bible and slowly began to read my favorite psalms, proverbs and verses, some of which I had memorized. I switched Bibles and renewed reading the daily verses, beginning from the day I stopped.
The following morning, I was back in stride, reading my Bible and welcoming in the blessings of a new day. I had no idea God had a surprise awaiting me. He had decided I should take a walk to the park in Troy that overlooked the Hudson River. I stopped for coffee and a donut, proceeded to a park bench and took out Pastor Lou’s book, “Ministries of Mercy,” by T.J. Keller. I relaxed and put it aside. God had something else planned.
A young man with palsy, between twenty-five to thirty years old maneuvered his motorized wheelchair to where I was sitting. He had difficulty in trying to communicate with me, his head bobbing while trying to sound out his words, and I was of little help in making it somewhat easier by not being clever enough to ask questions. It was a slow process, but I finally understood and withdrew the backpack from the handle of his wheelchair and opened it. Through a painstaking process for him, I got the message. He needed someone to feed him. I then began to respond with questions that made it easier for us and wished he hadn’t had to undergo my slow response.
I took out two plastic containers, a fruit salad and a vanilla yogurt from his pack. He preferred the yogurt first with shaved chocolate that I had to add from the package. His utensils were in another compartment, in a nicely wrapped plastic holder with napkins and other items. I was mesmerized in what was taking place. I looked into his deep brown eyes, as I brought the spoon up to his mouth, having to adjust my placement to make it easier for him to take freely. I can’t explain the thrill I felt, as I nurtured every little action needed to complete the task. It was evident he was hungry and after he coughed a few times, I was caring for him as if he was my child. I was enjoying every step of the process, every moment and every spoonful, asking and receiving in the poorest of expressions, but fulfilled with a special joy, I have never experienced in my life.
We were communicating much better now, and I knew he wanted me to turn the spoon upside down to make it easier for him to get the last lick of the yogurt. In feeding him the fruit cup, he made it known to me to use a fork and select only one piece per mouthful. None of the juice could be swallowed. Although immersed in caring for him, I was cognizant of God’s love in his child before me, whose eyes pieced my soul. I had no sense of pity or pride. There was no room for anything but love … We finished, but he had the hardest time making me understand he didn’t want me to clean his utensils. He had me place the fork and spoon between his fourth finger and pinky. The strength in the deformity of his hand gripped them tightly and I finally realized he would take care of them. Minutes later we said our goodbyes and he started down the path. He was out of sight almost immediately, as I sat there on the bench beaming with joy. I couldn’t believe God chose me to share this moment with his special child whose name I will probably never know, but whose eyes I was certain, reflected the loving eyes of my Savior, Jesus Christ.