Monday, February 01, 2021

WHEN GOD COMES NEAR by Eleanor Shepherd

                     During this pandemic, many of us have discovered that while we are not able to meet together in our churches, as always, God is present in unexpected places.  We don’t usually anticipate meeting Him in the midst of hustle of traffic on a downtown street of a busy city, but I can tell you He is there.

Recently, reading a book, entitled When Mothers Pray by Cherri Fuller, I recalled the incident. I was reading her chapter about relinquishing our children to God, one of the most difficult things to do. While I was reading, the tears were flowing, when my husband came into the room and asked what was wrong. As I told him what I was reading, he understood.  “You have had to do it at least twice, haven’t you?” he asked, referring to traumatic times in our lives. 

            “I have had to do it hundreds of times,” I recalled again the recent significant time when it occurred. It was last winter. I was visiting with our adult son in Toronto who lives in a wheelchair.

John took the dog in his chair and went for a walk.  He went to a park where the dog could run and cavort in the snow.  The day before, the mild weather had turned the snow to slush. The power wheelchair got stuck in the snow. 


I had stayed at John’s apartment to do a few things to help him.  In the midst of a cleaning project my phone rang.  It was John.

          “Can you come and try and help me?” he asked. “My chair is stuck in the snow and the dog is shivering with the cold.”

“I’ll come right away.” I promised.  Donning boots, coat, hat and gloves, I set out for the location he gave me. Now I am past 70, I don’t walk as fast as I used to but I pushed myself to get there as quickly as I could.


When I arrived, I saw how helpless the situation was.  The tires of his 300pound chair holding his 200pound body were well ensconced in the hardening slushy snow.  Even pushing with all my might, I could not budge the chair two centimetres.

Just then a sweet oriental lady came by and said, “Can I give you a hand with that?” She looked quite frail, but I was desperate. “I don’t know if together we can move it,” I said dubiously. “But I guess we can try.”


           With one of us on each side of the chair, John turned on the motor again and somehow the chair moved and came up out of ruts on to level ground. I hardly had a chance to thank this kind soul before she was gone. 

           With John and the dog both now shivering with cold, I sent them home ahead, since Iknew that I could not keep up with the speed of the power chair. 

At my more normal speed, I began walking down Bay Street on my own and the emotions that I had been holding in began to emerge. I found tears streamed down my face as I cried out to God. “I just can’t do this anymore! Please send someone to help me.”

 Hearing my tearful, “Hello,” he asked, “Are you okay?” I told him what was happening and silently listening, he then offered support. My tension decreased as we conversed. Our conversation was interrupted when my phone indicated another call. We hung up and I my daughter was on the line, just checking on how I was doing.  I knew who prompted the calls and I was not alone.

           By the time I got back to John’s apartment, I was at peace.  He was safe and I was assured that I could again leave him in the hands of a loving Heavenly Father who cares for him and will also look after me.


Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award 


Word Guild Award

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