Advent Devotional 21
December 21, 2023 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

Posted in Advent 2023, Deep Thoughts
Candles for Advent

Advent Devotional 21

The Gift of Faith – A True Story

Christmas brought signs of gaiety to the normally somber halls and rooms of the rehabilitation center. Most of the clients were faintly aware of the encroaching season and its gradual impact on their structured lives, some may even be allowed to go home for a brief respite.

The institute was renowned for its ability to provide the best chance and assistance to bring injured bodies and minds back to a better level of living. Small decorated trees found their way into rooms and decorations were mounted on corridor walls. This spirit also timidly entered room 107 as though afraid to affront a seemingly hopeless situation.

Months before, a new driver skidded out of control and was tossed from her car onto the pavement. Quick care and treatment at a leading trauma center has saved her life, but her severe brain injury had left her in a deep coma. The skill of her care, the hopes of her family and friends had been strong, but hours turned to days, to weeks, then months. There had been no signs around her, nothing.

The staff provided therapy to try and keep limbs straight and supple, but muscles were pulling inward and drawing her into a fetal position as she lay in a persistent vegetative state. Her mother, father, and brother were constant in their hope and faith that somehow, sometime she would return to them. The calls from family and friends were less frequent as hope for a fast and full recovery diminished. Each day they would read to her, touch her, and talk to her. Daily rituals to make sure that if she were somehow able to regain consciousness they would be there to reassure her and to let her know that she was loved. All attempts by the physicians, psychologists, nurses, and therapists had improved her physical well-being but still no response to the outside world.

Her father had prayed to be taken in her place when she had been so precariously close to death in the first weeks when funeral arrangements and donor forms were started. The hospital chapel had been his quiet pilgrimage each evening, asking for strength for all those who worked on her behalf and for her to have inner strength and courage to find her way back to her life. Now there was only a conviction for faith that she would return even though as a new or different person.

As Christmas approached, the decision was made to allow the patient in room 107 a home visit for a few days. T he family has been helpful Lin their assistance and was familiar with the physical care of their daughter, which included feeding her through a feeding tube directly inserted into her stomach. On Christmas Eve, the time was drawing near to place her into the wheelchair with straps for arms, legs, and head to keep her sitting erect with her vacant, half-lidded stare directed towards nothingness.

Her bag was packed with medicine, liquid food, and teddy bear gifts. Her father gently bent over her, as he had daily since the accident, and brushed her cheek with a kiss. He told her that he loved her, don’t be afraid, and don’t give up. He told her as though she could understand that she was going home for Christmas and would be with her family and sleep in her own room. He asked if he could have a kiss and waited patiently an watched joyously as faintly but perceptibly she pursed her lips to give her kiss.

The reward of faith was a gift of a little kiss on Christmas Eve. This tiny sign was the start of a gradual and faithful return to life and living. Christmas Eve at our home reminds us of a living example of the faith that springs from God’s gift whose birth we celebrate the next morning.

May God keep you in his peace.

Written by Rick Trimble

Submitted by Sally Trimble

Story is about their daughter Jill.