Friday, January 2, 2009


When I met Kay (not her real name), it was the first Sunday of the New Year. She and her husband believed it was time they got themselves and their baby son in church. It was their New Year's Resolution. I didn't see them again until the next year, the first Sunday, when, after a year had gone by, and they decided to try again! They were sweet. She was pregnant with baby #2, and they really wanted to make church work. But it was at least a year and a half before I saw them again.

You have to understand: In our inner-city church, we deal with lots of drive-thru's--folks who come around and drop in (just kicking tires, so to speak) then drop back out. We have a transient element with which we must deal, as many of our potential members live with some lack of stability in their housing situations. We are used to seeing people come and go. The third time I saw Kay, she and her hsband had three little ones. One of the babies had a heart condition, requiring her to be in the hospital several times in the few months she had been alive. Three babies, one with a complicated medical situation, were quite a lot for this young couple to deal with, and this time when they came to church, they stayed a while. They needed the love and support of a church family, and God knows, we needed to love and support them.

After several weeks had passed, Kay disclosed to the church that she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. The situation was grave; in her case, surgery did not present great enough odds to make it an option worth pursuing. Our church began to pray. And Kay began to do the things that she thought she should do in the event that she did pass on. She was a Christian, but she had never been baptized. It was time to do that.

You know, I can only imagine what my pastor must have been feeling as he baptized this young mom, knowing that the doctors had said she was dying. Certainly, every person is dying. But most of us have not had a doctor give us an imminent time frame for it. It was a hope-filled moment, to know with blessed assurance that Kay's life was wrapped in the death and resurrection of Christ, and by her baptism, she was leaving a legacy for her kids to follow. She wanted them to one day identify themselves with Christ in the same way.

The best part of today's post about HOPE is that Kay is still with her family. So far, the doctor's time frame has not agreed with the Lord's!

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