We got one of those calls the day after Christmas. Kevin's brother called about their sister. M is 44 and lives in South Dakota. The relationship has always been rocky and sporadic. She's had a hard time keeping a job and the only time we heard from her would be when she needed money or some kind of help. She's struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. She was extremely close to her mom and when her mom died 15 years ago, I don't think M ever really got over it. She isolated herself and we dreaded hearing from her. Sadly, that was the reality.
Then we got the phone call. M took something to get to sleep and left a window open and almost froze to death. The EMTs were able to revive her and at the hospital they worked feverishly to raise her internal temperature from the 70's. They did dialysis to warm her blood. A couple days later and she's aware, but still on a respirator and still needing dialysis. She's been upgraded from critical to serious in the ICU. If there is recovery, it will be long and hard. Right now it's day to day.
I am overwhelmed with sadness seeing a person's life that has basically been thrown away. When a person pushes away family and friends and isolates themselves from interaction with people, what is left?
I'm so grateful that God is a God of second chances. And He doesn't give up on us, no matter what. I just don't know if M is even interested in God or others.
There is a scene in C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle. Aslan sets a banquet before the dwarves who refuse to see it. :
"Aslan raised his head and shook his mane. Instantly a glorious feast appeared on the Dwarfs’ knees: pies and tongues and pigeons and trifles and ices, and each Dwarf had a goblet of good wine in his right hand. But it wasn’t much use. They began eating and drinkung greedily enough, but it was clear that they couldn’t taste it properly. THey thought they were eating and drinking ony the sort of things you might find in a stable. One said he was trying to eat hay and another said he got a bit of an old turnip and a third said he’d found a raw cabbage leaf. And they raised golden goblets of rich red wine to their lips and said “Ugh! Fancy drinking dirty water out of a trough that a donkey’s been at! Never thought we’d come to this.” But very soon every Dwarf began suspecting that every other Dwarf had found something nicer than he had, and they started grabbing and snatching, and went on to quarreling, till in a few minutes there was a free fight and all the good food was smeared on their faces and clothes or trodden under foot. But when at last they sat down to nurse their black eyes and their bleeding noses, they all said: