Today I met a man in the ER who rolled his car, but was going to be OK- banged up but no broken bones. My job among other things is to catalog a patient's belongings. On his laptop case was a Bible. It was important enough to carry as he commuted to work, and to his appointments among the Amish farming community. In spite of his miraculously being spared any injuries that would have admitted him and caused anguish, when I asked him if he wanted me to offer prayer for thanksgiving, he said no- because he was OK.
Later in the morning I visited a man who has some undiagnosed intestinal problem. He is homeless and suffers from mental distress. He eagerly accepted a visit and shared with me his faith, and pictures of his cat, a stray who found him. Though he occasionally was a little disordered, and his faith was labeled as a "religious preoccupation" by nursing, it was hard to see that this man's faith was just about mental illness. He asked me to pray, he held the Bible and knew it's stories. He told me that I was the first person to visit him. He chided me that Jesus conmmanded that we remember the poor, hungry and homeless. He challenged me as to whether I would stay and listen to him or would I call him crazy. He insisted I look at his blackened toenails- his concern of the day.
He thanked me for listening and for praying.
During our visit, he sat in a chair, as did I. At one point in the visit, a batik cloth he had draped on the foot of the bedrail, spontaneously slid off. I caught it and he professed this as proof of the Holy spirit in the room, and of my being someone open to the Spirit.
It mught be easy to lump him together with other "crazy" people. But I wonder. This man who has nothing and no reason to believe in God, professes the presence of God in his life.
One whose life was spared, carries a text that does not speak to him in a moment defying rational possibility.
Who sees God for who God is?
And how do we know?