MO is at Black Rifle Coffee, Beyond Black is in the cup, Country is on the playlist, and God is in the room doing what He does best.
Carl and Kathy are on my mind, again—lifelong friends. Carl is facing significant health challenges. Lyn and I are praying for them daily.
I remember sitting in their family room listening to Carl's story when Carl said:
Dr. Payne — that was his real name — seemed to have a diagnosis from the moment I walked in. After a few minutes, he said. "Carl, you've got Infectious Hepatitis. You will need an extended stay at the hospital—18 weeks of isolation and Treatment."
"No way," I said. "I can't pay for a hospital, I have to do this at home, in our apartment."
After I explained our finances, he reluctantly agreed to treatment in our home, beginning with 8 weeks of quarantine. "You can't leave your apartment and no one will be allowed to come into your apartment for at least 8 weeks," Dr. Payne insisted.
Friends helped with food, and Kathy took on three jobs. I dropped all my classes, but one, and the Doc made home visits. I took my meds, felt miserable, and stayed inside that prison for what seemed like an eternity.
It was overwhelming for both of us. Kathy worked the jobs, cared for me, and kept the looky-loos away—you know, the classmates who wanted to see the carrot man.
I gradually got better and my color slowly returned, and, finally, I could get OUT! Life returned. But, I was really dreading settling up with Dr. Payne. He had visited every week, brought meds, did lab work, and provided what I needed medically.
But, the settle-up day came. I sat down in his office and told him I was good for the bill, that I couldn't pay now, but had a job and I had two more years before I graduate. I told him, "I'll work out a payment plan, and before I graduate, I'll have your bill paid. I just don't have it now."
"Did you get a bill from me?" Dr. Payne asked.
"No, but I still owe you!"
This gentle, soft-spoken man, said, "Carl, your bill has been paid."
"What do you mean, paid? Did my parents pay it?" I asked.
"No, the donor asked to remain anonymous. But, the bill is paid in full... you owe nothing!"
I argued with Doc a bit: I wanted to pay the debt, I wanted to be responsible, but Doc stood up and shook my hand, "Your bill is paid, Carl. When you graduate and get out on your own and you see someone who needs help, then you help them like you've been helped. And, keep it a secret!"
"You got GRACED," I said.
"Yes, and it changed our lives! I had heard of grace before, but on that day I was in the middle of it. I still carry damaged kidneys from my hepatitis event, but I am so thankful for what I learned through it all.”
Carl is on dialysis every day now, but the secret of grace oozes freely from the Collins house. And, I've got to visit there soon. They recharge my batteries!
Oh Abba, you do it best... doing stuff behind the scenes, while other stuff is happening around us.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT).