Wednesday, January 19, 2011


"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

I visited a man in the hospital the other day. He had found out he had cancer and had relapsed on narcotics. He had overdosed and almost died. I wanted to help him. To reach out, to console, to encourage, to lift up. I don't know if I was able to be of any help at all. I don't know if I had any of the right words to say. What I did say was that I had been there. That I knew what it felt like to wake up in a hospital bed, alone, in a strange town. Bewildered. Lost. Terrified. Knowing that I had drank too much, to often, for too many years. But not quite being able to piece together how I had come to find myself in this particular hospital, on this particular morning, in this particular town.

What I could say was that I had been where he was and that there was a way out. That, although he couldn't see it, there was hope. That in that moment of weakness and infirmity, strength might be found. I didn't think I could get to where I am today from where I was then. In fact I couldn't even see here from there. I have found a life beyond my wildest imaginings. I am living in a dream. Not because I "made" it happen. Not because I deserved it. But because of Grace. The mystery of grace is that it, "finds you where you are but doesn't leave you where it found you." Through grace I have been given a new life. A second chance. Because, you see, God does forgive. And the more beaten, the weaker, the more infirm you are the greater the strength you will be given. God's strength truly is made perfect in weakness.

I don't know if anything I said will help this friend. I don't think any human power can help in a situation like that. What I can do is be a witness that in weakness and infirmity there is a power. Just over the horizon. Where you can't quite see it yet. There is strength. There is a way up and out. There is Grace. It is waiting for you.

And today I feel truly, truly blessed.


  1. It might not have helped your friend, but I REALLY needed to hear this today. Thank you. God has sent your words my way today.

  2. What a kind thing you did for this man. So many of us would avoid that situation, uncomfortable about what to say. Like so many of your faithful blog readers, I am so glad to read that your life has taken a major turn with the introduction of Jenny and her boys.