Howard The Hero

Updated: Apr 13


The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:7-8


Howard is my brother-in-law. God is in the rescue business, and God sent Howard to rescue my mom-in-law (and me) one day this winter.


My mom-in-law (Mom) had been working very hard to recover from a terrifying bout with Sepsis. Mom, with my father-in-law, had recently made the momentous move from their long-time family home to an assisted living apartment (AL). But, she was only eight days in her new home before the Sepsis nearly killed her. Restrictions on visitation at hospital and rehab because of the Omicron COVID19 variant had torpedoed her recovery. She needed her family with her. And the solution was to create skilled nursing care in her now vacant former home.


Almost three weeks of home-brew nursing care later, Mom was ready to move back to AL where her husband was waiting.


On moving day, despite some night-time agitation, Mom woke up extra early and was all business. Where was her purse? And she needed to be clean and dressed well for her return home.


At 7:30am, her daughter, LJ, called AL to make sure everything was on track. The night nurse had news for us: “You’re not on our transport schedule. We have one van, and it’s in the repair shop. And the driver is sick. But, I’ll have the day nurse call you when she gets in.”


After some time, the day nurse called and told us, “We’ve contracted with an outside service that can transport Mom at the scheduled time.” Whew.


The transport van arrived at 9:30am for the 15-minute drive. LJ took off with a car full of Mom’s things. I rolled Mom out to the driveway. The direct sun felt quite hot. Mom had declined using the portable oxygen because “I can do without it for a short time”.


The driver was very courteous, but struggled to lower the wheelchair ramp. He got on the phone with his boss and sent pictures of the equipment. Many minutes passed. I fretted about Mom in the hot sun without her oxygen. We all sweated.


Then a black Dodge Ram truck pulled up and parked. My brother-in-law, Howard, got out and greeted us. “I thought I’d stop by and see how the move was going.”


“I’m so glad you’re here!” I didn’t tell him at the time, but the feeling was Hosanna! God is saving us!


Howard immediately stepped in to help. He and the driver became a team, analyzing, testing, fiddling and analyzing again.


Finally, the ramp came down. Hurray! Hosanna!


But, we weren’t out of the woods. By the time we solved the puzzle of both lowering the ramp and raising it again, moving the seats and securing the wheelchair with straps, we had rolled Mom into and out of the van several times.


Finally, the driver was all set to get in the driver’s seat when we noticed that Mom, herself, was not strapped in!


More puzzling, reaching, contorting and fastening. Finally, she was sorta strapped in. The driver drove VERY slowly across the hill with the black pick-up behind, buffering the zooming traffic. An hour and fifteen minutes late, we arrived.


Afterward, I told Howard, “You are my hero! How did you happen to show up at exactly the right moment?”


“I just thought I’d come over and see what was going on.”


“Well, I don’t know if you believe in God or not, but God brought you to us at the right time. Thank you for listening when God nudged you to come over and rescue us.”


“Oh, I believe in God,” he said with a grin. “And you’re welcome.”


_______________________________


Four years ago, Pastor Mark taught us that we can translate ‘Hosanna’ as “Save us!” or as God saves or saved or will save us. We started this week with shouts of ‘Hosanna!’ for our Savior, Jesus, who addressed the biggest planetary problem of all – sin. Jesus faced down the horror of the cross to rescue us from judgment and futility, and release us into a new life and a new heavenly home. Jesus is a Hero of heroes! For that He deserves our all.


But that doesn’t detract from the work of ordinary heroes from within our ranks like Howard. God attends to the macro and God attends to the micro. And God sends us heroes when and where we need them. Hosanna!



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