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God Is at Work!

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On January 30th I was standing in my bedroom in Ft. Lauderdale. My right knee and leg completely gave way and I fell to the carpet. As I turned, my left hip hit the carpet and the concrete floor beneath it. My left hip cracked in two places. 

On February 21st I got a new left hip and then went into rehab until I went home on March 9th. So I’ve had a different kind of Lenten journey this year. I’ve reflected more deeply on how fragile my life is and how dependent I am on others to get me to and from the hospital and rehab and to care for me. I realize how dependent I am on the Lord. The doctors, nurses and so many aides have kept me alive and going. I truly feel the close presence of the Lord and all the prayers that are sent my way. Thank You!

Lying in my hospital bed at the rehab center on March 4th, I received this email on my smart phone. I had not seen or been in contact with Joe Burns for 50 years. He had no idea of what I was going through with my left hip. But he sure let me know how close the Lord is and has been to me, to him and to another woman in Denver all these years……

Greetings to you Father Laz!

This message comes to you from Joe Burns. I am number three child for Jack & Laurel. I am now 69 years old. For the past 12 years I have been serving as a hospice chaplain in the greater Denver area. 

A few weeks ago I was visiting an aged woman who had been placed in hospice care. She clearly has Alzheimer’s disease. I was unable to get her to respond coherently to very many statements or questions. I did ask her what she likes to do during the day. 

She quickly responded, “read.” I looked around her room, and there was but one book in the room. So I picked up the book and showed it to her and asked her if this is one of the books she likes to read.  

Her answer to me was, “my priest.” I figured I was in the midst of a normal encounter with someone with advanced dementia replies, and responses which are usually not connected to what’s being said, or talked about, but to my amazement when I looked at the title of the book, I was speechless. “Love Adds a Little Chocolate: 100 Stories to Brighten Your Day and Sweeten Your Life.”

There was your name, author of the book. On the back leaf was your photo. Inside the front cover was a hand written note to her, with your signature. “I hope these stories will bring much joy into your life.” 

I was convinced that as I sat in a random assisted living facility in Lakewood, Colorado with an old woman who came to Colorado from the Midwest….it also brought a common connection between her and I. 

I told her about my childhood and youth at Our Lady Of the Brook and she shared a little bit about living not too far away from where you also served in the church, one where she and her family lived. 

The most beautiful thing about this link is that she “came alive” for about 10 minutes. She was clear thinking, clear talking. And clearly released from her horrible disease, at least briefly. It was truly a memorable experience to see her be her, even if just for a few moments. 

Joe Burns

This email touched my heart deeply, brought tears to my eyes and lifted me up from the pain of the hospital bed I was lying in. It’s message is so clear to me: “God is at work, God is at work, God is at work,” especially in my life as I lie there with a broken hip, the life of an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease in Colorado, and the hospice chaplain who is caring for her. You and I know so little about what is REALLY going on in our lives and in the world. “God is at work!”

How is the Lord at work in YOUR life in a similar way to bring YOU to the place where the Lord wants YOU to be? 


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