Yesterday I was sitting in a Starbucks by my house, working on my message for this coming week. I turned my head around and noticed a man in a wheelchair. It was a heavy duty motorized chair and he had it reclined – laying down in it. Never seen that before.
I began to talk with him. His name is Steve and he told me his story. Well, a little of it. Enough of it.
Drunk driving 4 years ago put him in the wheelchair. His truck flipped 4 times, each time collapsing down on him. He was in a coma for 3 months, had multiple surgeries, and doesn’t remember anything. This was all told to him by those around him – doctors, family, etc.
After waking up from the coma, his wife told him it was too much for her and she was going to divorce him. This was after 18 years of marriage. A tragedy.
At one point I asked Steve when the last time he laughed was. He replied, “not sure, it’s a rare thing these days.”
Later I asked him if he has hope. He replied, “I’m not sure I really know what that is.”
At that point his legs began to shake uncontrollably. He asked if I could help him move the straps that were around his calves up to his knees. I did. His legs stopped bouncing.
He lives in a home that gives him 24/7 care, just down the street from the Starbucks. He says he goes there just about every day to get a cup of coffee. This is how he spends the $30 a month he receives from disability. He says it’s a “taste of sanity” for him each day.
Steve seems to be a good guy, bitter and angry in ways, but an overall good guy. He’s certainly lonely and I’m sure he could use a friend.
I met Steve at 3:30pm yesterday. So, today at 3:30 I’ll be at the same coffee shop, hoping to see him. I think this is the beginning of a great relationship.
I’m also thinking that this might be a new opportunity for the ministry of my church. I can think of at least 4 college-age people in my church that would love to spend time with the people that live in this home with Steve. I’ll be looking deeper into this and talking to some people this week…