How Did You Wake Up This Morning

I believe I’ve spoken about my neighbor, Bootsie, before.

She’s an older lady, 63, and has lived a hard life that’s included 15 years in an asylum, an 8th grade education, problems with alcohol, etc.

Her husband of 26 years is dying of prostate cancer, which made her drinking problem worse.

I talked to her and told her she needed to quit drinking, so she could be strong for James, her husband. Right after that, she went to the clinic and found out her kidneys were failing. The doctor said if she didn’t stop drinking, she die. They put a catheter on her with a bag, and said she might have to use that for 2 months until her kidneys clear up.

So she has, so far. Its been almost two weeks, and as far as I know, she hasn’t had a drop. She’s been much more lucid when she drops by my apartment to use the phone or to get some groceries. She doesn’t utilize all the social programs that are out there for her. She and her husbands combined monthly income is 1300 dollars, and they spend 600 a month on rent. Doesn’t leave much for food or clothing. So I help her out when I can.

Anyway, this morning, I get a knock on my door at 7:45 and hear Bootsie hollering that she needs my help. I’m thinking that James has passed, so I run to the door.  Luckily, that wasn’t the case. However, her bag had gotten full, and she asked if she could use my bathroom. I obliged, unsure why she hadn’t used the bathroom at her house, but nevertheless not minding helping her out at all.

Then, she called me to the bathroom. After emptying the bag (mostly in the toilet, but alot on the floor) she couldn’t reattach it to her leg.

Now there’s a reason that I never considered being a doctor. I can’t handle people being in pain looking to me to fix it. I would freeze. So when I hesitantly entered the bathroom, with her pants at her ankles and looking to me to strap that pee bag on her leg, I didn’t know what to do.

I was most certainly out of my comfort zone.

But I stepped up, got in there, and eventually got the velcro thing strapped tightly back around her leg.

And I have to tell you, it was God that got me in that bathroom. It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it on my own. I would have trouble doing that for a family member, much less, a lady I met two months ago that lives around the corner.

But its a testament to how messy (literally) the Kingdom of God is. And how he will empower you to step out of your comfort zone.

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2 responses to “How Did You Wake Up This Morning

  1. You’re a good man, Justin.

  2. Amen to your post. Amen to Jeff, too.

    Dealing with some messes and discussions with my current college friends — no time to post about them, but God is always there if we keep our eyes open and stay on our guard. People are hurting, people are curious, people are lonely. It’s hard to know what to be, who to be for them, what Jesus would do or say.
    But just being present and available for conversation is a start, I think. Listening when someone’s lover has been sleeping with someone else and she just found out that day and is getting all her clothes and moving in with a friend that night … agreeing that that’s a good idea (gulp! what else could I say?) I did say that maybe in the grand design it would be all for the best and she said, fingering her saint necklace (she’s Roman) she believes in God and she’s been praying that it will all be made clear, and another friend assures her it will be made clear in time and I say maybe.
    That’s just one of several instances.

    Oh, need nap before dentist attacks cavities.

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