Psalm 139:9-10 – If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. (KJV)
Years ago, this Scripture was quoted to me by a dear friend and family doctor as being the epitaph on a simple stone marking the grave of the famous American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist, Charles Lindbergh, on the grounds of Palapala Ho'omau Church in Kipahulu, eleven miles past Hana on the island of Maui, Hawaii.
At the time, it held great meaning for me, as my father had been a pilot of small airplanes and one of great faith that God's hand was with him always. I found the whole of Psalm 139 to be of great comfort, treasuring verses 9 and 10 in particular, and have quoted it often through the years.
We were newcomers to a little town in Alberta, Canada, in 1977 and were welcomed with open arms by the doctor, his wife, and family, forging a close friendship that exists to this day.
A little unconventional in his practicing days, and with a sense of humour that still evokes tears of laughter, the doctor was a favourite to over a thousand patients, and indeed, to the whole medical staff, as well as the community at large and beyond. Though orthopaedics was his specialty, he was the epitome of the country general practitioner, making house calls, coming out in the middle of the night to deliver babies (our youngest among them), to mend bones, and to tend to wounds and countless other ills. He healed bones, bodies, hearts, and emotions.
He was, and is, also the epitome of living one's life with a deep faith. Now over 80 and terminally ill, he who healed many cannot be physically healed, but his faith and spirituality remain strong.
It is my belief that God plays a huge part in those who are placed in our lives, giving each of us an opportunity to learn, to share, and to teach. This family's friendship is one for which we are forever thankful. It is in people such as these, who live and lead by example, that God's light shines through.
Proverbs 18:24 – A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (KJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we are thankful for all the friends that You have graciously given us, especially those who lead by example. May each of us always feel the comfort of Your hand with us, and glean strength and peace within us from You in times of turbulence, uncertainty, and illness. In Your name, we pray and give thanks for this day. Amen.