There he sits in a wheelchair frail and weak a man who in recent months has lost 60+ lbs, battling cancer for yet a second time. If I look only at Kirby then this is all I see.
However when I look just a little further a little deeper I see so much more. What I see is a man who has been a pillar for his family. I see his wife of 11 years Julie ( a social worker), his sister, and 3 handsome grandsons all of whom have traveled with him from their home in Oklahoma here to Arkansas to meet us. Wait, I also missed the fact that he was smiling through all of this. What could he possibly have to smile about?..I ask myself. (You see, Kirby is not just defined by his looks alone and neither are any of us, but so many times we don’t look past the surface.)
So today… we have the privilege of transporting Kirby to Cleveland Clinic. After our initial evaluation it has been determined that with his current condition and for flight purposes we will need to put a nasogastric tube in. (this is a tube that goes in through your nose and down into your stomach and not a pleasant experience) Kirby was quite cooperative and said,”let’s do whatever we need to do” and he was a trooper.
His wife Julie accompanied us on the flight. We learned that they were a blended family with 3 children and several grandchildren. His first battle with cancer had began only about 1 � years into their marriage. Together they have built a log cabin on several acres in Oklahoma which sounded very peaceful. The two of them are very involved in their church and the evening before we met them their church choir had come to their home and sang for them. ( I wish I could have heard that.)
Kirby tolerated the flight well his only complaint was occasional nausea which we were able to treat easily. I could tell he was not one to complain. Julie who was a little skeptical of flying even said it was probably the most peaceful smooth flight she had been on.
We safely delivered the 2 of them to Cleveland Clinic and prayed with them before our departure.
You know there are times in each of our lives that can be very lonely and terrifying. God surrounds us with family and friends to come along side of us, but no one can take our place nor can anyone be with us at all times. No one that is except our Lord and Savior. We do not have to get up each morning and wonder: Is God here with me?— Will He be with me throughout the day?—Will He be with me tonight as I sleep?—Will He be with me tomorrow when I undertake a difficult task?—The answer is absolutely YES He is. He is always with us and I know that Kirby and Julie hold on to this security too and this my friends is exactly what he has to smile about.
God knows the worst about us but He also sees the best in us. Today lets take off our earthly glasses and put on our Jesus glasses. I challenge you today to speak to someone you may not normally. Extend your hand, make eye contact, introduce yourself and ask them how they are and truly listen with your eyes, your ears, and your body language. Let them know you care. Try to see them as Jesus does.
Please keep Kirby and Julie in your prayers as he will be undergoing surgery this week.
Thank you to Hal, Matt, and Mike for flight following and allowing me to serve along side of them.
Matthew 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”