There it is – the steady metallic clickety sound as his cane strikes the tiled floor in the corrider. He is coming, just as he has every morning and every evening for many weeks. Henry walks through the door, around the curtain partition, and straightway to the bedside of his dear friend. At the familiar sound, the patient stretches out his left hand to catch the feeble hand of Henry. A tight hand-clasp as two friends look into each other’s eyes – then Henry bows his head and closes his eyes.
Henry, The Encourager
Praying With Thanksgiving
Peeking to see what is happening, I study the stooped-shouldered Henry, leaning heavily upon his cane, clad in well-worn overalls. Without pretense he suddenly begins his prayer. “Hebenly Fodder…” I struggle to understand each word as he pours out his heart to a real Father, a Father he seems to know personally. He continues his prayer. “I ask you to bless my brudder. I thank you for him coming to my house and telling me ’bout Jesus. Him tol’ me and my brudder ’bout Jesus and he baptized me and my brudder. When I was um leetle boy him came and visited me all du time and now him is sick and I come tu visit um here.”
I open my eyes to watch his lips. I want to understand every word as he pours out his heart to the Lord. His fervency and passion is evident in his face as he grips his friends hand as if for emphasis. “Hebenly Fodder, please stwengthum him and raise him up stwong and gib him stweength to do your work. Make him well. I love him. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen!”
As Henry releases his grip and shoves his hand deep into his pocket, the patient whispers, “Thank you Henry.” Henry then turns his attention to me and I introduce myself.
I say, “Henry, we’ve been singing together this afternoon and would like to know if you have a favorite song you’d like us to sing.”
A Heart Overflowing With Songs of Praise
Without a moment of hesitation, Henry launches into his own arrangement of a familiar melody. “O come, come, come, to the church in the wildwood…”
As we conclude the chorus, he sings an additional verse, leaving me far behind. I’m searching my memory for words I’ve long forgotten. By this time, he’s back to the chorus again. I join in and the song ends.
Immediately Henry turns his attention back to his friends face. “I’ll see you later, Brudder Richard.” He turns to leave and I listen intently as the steady clickety-metallic tapping fades into the general noises of the hallway. Henry, a precious messenger has once again obeyed His Father and offered himself as a minister of love and prayer.
A Faithful Minister
His was a quiet ministry – going unnoticed by most, but applauded by His heavenly Father who will count it to him as a job well-done. His was a ministry of encouragement, and he was a faithful praying and caring friend.
Has your life been enriched by a faithful minister such as Henry? I’d love to hear about it.