This I Believe

Afi-Odelia - South Euclid, Ohio
Entered on January 18, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

When I saw the name on the caller I.D., I knew I was in for bad news. My cousins and I live just miles apart, yet we only gather for family crises.

This time, the relative in need was John, my father’s first cousin. We weren’t close, but I know what I had to do. At least he was in a hospital just a few blocks away. I stopped by the next day-, and took the first step of an amazing, unexpected journey that wound from his hospital bed to his death bed – all within three weeks.

As I navigated the twists and turns of his final days I witnessed wonderful demonstrations of divine power. Now I can firmly say what I believe.

God will supply your needs.

I’m new-thought Christian who uses prayer and affirmations, works at releasing situations to their divine conclusion.

My faith helps me combat the materialism dominates contemporary American life. But my armor was cracked. I’d affirmed God would supply my needs, but my needs always seemed to be monetary. My cousin’s last days showed me how I’d played God cheap – and cheated myself.

The woman who took John to the emergency room was a friend. But they shared a surname. She was able to masquerade as his daughter to get him admitted. Then she went back to his house, searching through letters and scraps of paper until she found numbers she thought might belong to relatives. She made one call, then another – and phones in the family began to ring.

Her concern brought him a few more days.

When she needed a rest, I took over. I talked to doctors, read web sites and tried to learn about the disease that was devouring John’s body. When a routine procedure turned into a major decision, I got a call. Incredibly, the oncologist recognized my name. We had attended college together 25 years ago. She gently, but firmly explained John’s condition, and suggested I arrange for Hospice care.

But John didn’t want to go to a nursing home. That was a wish his “daughter” and I couldn’t grant – until another, previously unknown daughter turned up. She was adamant that he would come with her. She took him home on a Friday. He died 36 hours later.

I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone. My cousin’s affairs were in disarray. Finding documents took hours, and sometimes days. Still, God was there throughout everything.

When John needed people willing to lift heavy burdens, God supplied them. When John needed to hear from friends, the telephone rang. And God didn’t leave forget about us. When we asked questions, we got answers. When one of us had done all we could, God brought in someone who had the energy and willingness to take over. Over time, John’s daughters and I embraced. We called each other. We sat with him, and when he breathed his last, we were there.

In Matthew, Jesus urges us to look at the lilies of the field, flowers so ordinary we overlook their beauty. While we gaze at them, he chides us about worrying. Don’t you know God will take care of you? Don’t you know that?

Yes, he will. Yes, I do.