There once was a man sent from God, his name was John. A familiar verse in the Bible. I'm not talking about the same John mentioned in that verse.... but those words just spring to my mind as I think of a man we recently met -- his name is John, and he was sent by God into our lives.
We met John a few months ago. We sat across the aisle from each other at church. During worship, Chester perked up, wandered over to greet John. I noticed John sat alone. I noticed he had kind eyes and a huge love for dogs. And I noticed he had a large bandage around his neck.
After the service, John came to us. He sat down, and lovingly pet Chester. He held his finger over the hole in the neck bandage, so he could speak, his voice, raspy, strained, difficult to understand. His eyes so kind and caring, full of compassion and love for others...dogs included. Walking through hard seasons can give you that kind of heart. Or...bitterness. In John though, all I see in his often tear-filled eyes is....love.
It had been awhile since we were at church on a Saturday night. Last night we were there. John found us again. We hugged, happy to see our friend. John sat down, and Chester snuggled up next to his friend. John rested his hand on Chester's head, petting him constantly, rubbing his ears, just loving on him...as dog lover's do. When John stopped petting to grab a pen , Chester nudged him gently with his nose, as if saying, hey, don't stop :-). John, no longer able to talk, his voice too weak, now spoke with his pen. He scratched a note to us on his yellow pad, "I've missed you."
"I've missed you." The words just made my eyes leak. Had it not been for Chester, would I ever have noticed or met this kind man? Would I? I hope so, but I don't know ~ ~ how many "John Moments" have I walked past? I am so thankful that months ago, Chester walked across that aisle to make the first move, to meet ...a friend.
We, gathered closely around John and prayed for him. He wrote notes, we read, we talked, he scribbled quickly, we listened. It was clear John was missing his voice, weak as it was. It is difficult to write notes and say all that is in your heart ... so, we just hugged some more and Chester sat close with his friend.
There once was a man, sent by God, his name was John. John is now in our hearts and in our lives. And we are in his. If you wouldn't mind, would you whisper a prayer for our friend.