The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:35-37

It was a quiet, early morning moment at the Family House near a major teaching hospital. As perfect strangers in emotional turmoil will do, Jane and I shared coffee and our deepest worries.

My concerns centered on my 35-year-old son, about four months into an aggressive fight against leukemia. Jane’s were more complex.

Jane and her husband had recently relocated in the state. They were used to moving. Her husband was a minister who had gained expertise as a pastor good with troubled churches. But their last move was more personal. Jane had had an automobile accident that left her mobile, but in constant and severe back pain. They had moved to be near her daughter, a busy young nurse with a husband and three active young boys. Their middle son, age eight, was in chemotherapy, also for leukemia.

Then she breathed a long sigh and continued. What brought Jane to the hospital this morning was not her grandson or her own injuries. She had finally realized that the pain medication she tried to take sparingly had needed too many refills. When she confronted her husband, he revealed that he was deeply addicted to prescription pain medications. She had brought him to the medical center for evaluation and treatment. Her emotional foundation had crumbled beneath her.

I didn’t see Jane at dinner. They had been referred to a substance abuse facility. That evening I went to the director to pay for the rest of the week. We were not leaving as soon as hoped. Our son had developed some complications.

“You’re paid through the end of the week,” the Director told me. “There’s some mistake,” I said. “Actually, someone named Jane transferred pre-payment to your account,” she replied.

With her world in crisis Jane had had the Christian love to help me. I know firsthand that in the storms of life, not only do ordinary saints cope, they do it with grace.

Cyndy Urquhart

About the Contributor

Cyndy and her husband Colin have worshiped at Nazareth for 17 years and been members for 3. She is a retired Middle School English teacher and sings in the Nazareth choir.