The man leaned forward in his chair as he coughed again and again, his body racked with spasms. Reaching one hand out to the table to steady himself, he drew in a long shuddering breath and looked around. The curtains were pulled over the windows leaving the room in shadow with dust filtering in through the stray rays of light that snuck in at the edges.
Pushing back the chair he tried to stand, but only succeeded in wobbling on unsteady legs and was forced to lean again on the table for support to stop from falling.
The coughs came again and this time he doubled over in pain as the tremors ran through his body.
As the pain resided he put one foot in front of the other and slowly shuffled toward the door.
Halfway there he sagged against the hallway wall and sucked down lungfuls of air; he lowered his head as his vision narrowed to a long black tunnel.
“It hasn’t always been like this,” he thought. “I used to be strong and healthy. What happened to me?”
After a few minutes the man regained his breath and continued his staggering shuffle down the hallway to the door.
Reaching down he pulled the door open and stared out at the world he no longer inhabited.
The bright yellow sun hung in a cloudless blue sky and children laughed as they chased each other down the street. His neighbors waved to each other from porch swings as they sipped ice tea and held each other close.
As the pain reached out for him again he cried out and fell to his knees weeping.
If you’ve ever been sick or injured or feeling alone, then you know how this man feels. He’s heartbroken because his illness has taken away his ability to live life and enjoy the people around him and his surroundings. We all lead very busy lives, but if you know someone like this man take the time to visit them and make their day a little better with your presence.
“Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?” Matthew 25:35