Thursday, June 01, 2006

There is a situation that occurred while BJ was in the hospital that I have not shared, as I did not want to denigrate my siblings in Christ. I feared reflecting an attitude that was contrary to my Savior's. However, I find this story keeps surfacing, so I am going to share it. Please hear my heart, though. I am sharing it now to open our eyes that we might not repeat any such folly.

We had been at the hospital for a few weeks, when some friends who are in a gospel quartet were going to participate in a national event, and requested permission to share BJ's story. They encountered a man who had a national television show for their style of music. They were carrying flyers about BJ's plight and asked him for any assistance he could give in soliciting others to pray for Beej.

The connection with this man seemed to take off. Plans were made for him to interview me along with one of the pastor's from our old church (who knew BJ well).

Deanna and I were living at the hospital. Home was an hour away, and there was nothing there for us at that time. We had a few items of clothing, and we wore them repetitively. The temperature fluctuates little in the hospital, we did not go anywhere, so what we had to wear was it.

The pastor arrived to escort me to the station for the interview. We were dressed similarly. Shorts, polo/casual shirt, and sandals. We went to the reception area to check in. Our party was contacted and came to greet us.

Upon his arrival, he seemed confused and concerned. He was at a loss for words, and seemed to stammer. I could not figure out what was wrong. He escorted us into the studio where we were to be interviewed. His confusion level seemed to grow. So did his frustration.

Finally, he said, "I just can't go on like this."

Now I was bewildered. Then I caught a glance of him looking me up and down, followed by "my audience just won't understand." Next he said, "I thought a pastor from your church was coming."

My friend replied, "I am one of the pastors."

He said, "I just can't go on like this, maybe you could write out your story, and we can get it on the air."

I confess, it took me several moments to process what had just happened. As I sat down to write out BJ's story, it finally sunk in that we were being rejected because we did not have on a coat and tie. We did not look good enough to go on the air!

Now I was fighting for composure. I tried to focus my energy into putting his story onto paper. I struggled to do so. I could not believe what had just happened.

In those moments I became very selfish minded. My son lay dying in the hospital because he had been faithful to God's call. He was literally suffering for the cause of Christ, and I had not left his side in a long time as my place was with him. I had made a decision to leave and do this interview thinking it would point to Christ, and increase the prayer cover Beej would receive.

Upon arrival, I was rejected because I was not dressed up enough... it wasn't even Sunday! I said to my pastor friend, "Now I know what Jesus meant when He spoke to the Pharisees' about their skewed desire to appear in flowing robes and be seated in places of honor!"

He was embarrassed and apologetic though it had not been his fault. He was livid over the situation.

I returned to the hospital to find that I had missed what would turn out to be Beej's last "awake" moment. He had opened his eyes, and communicated with Deanna. He would never do this again.

By God's grace and strength, I was able to keep my emotions and frustrations in check. I knew what impact this might have on Deanna's fragile state, so I did not tell her what happened until months later.

Even then, the disbelief boiled over into anger, and we processed it together.

When what we look like in desperate times is more of an issue than the issue itself, something is grossly wrong with our priorities.

I am not a television personality, and I do not have an audience therin, to try and please... save Christ Himself. I do not have to worry about ratings for my livelihood, so perhaps my view is from the cheap seats.

Regardless, having the attitude of Christ in this situation, it seems to me, would have dictated dispensing with formality, and embracing the broken.

Perhaps this is why I walked this path. Maybe I needed to learn to minister from this place, and not the other.

At any rate, I am not bitter, I just want to be mindful that I never impose this kind of incongruity onto another. When that person who has little, comes into my church, or even into my path, I need to reach out, not look down. They do not need me to condescend, they need me to embrace.

dad


Brad is recovering well. He is not without pain, but is healing. Thank you for praying.

Thank you Allen family for the Inca Kola!!! It arrived yesterday, in great shape!!!

10 Comments:

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Father, forgive ME, for so many times, I don't know what I'm doing either. When I saw the boys with the Mohawk haircuts shooting baskets right in the midst of a church fellowship last night, my first response was the opposite of love, caring, and compassion. I may not have spoken unkindly to them, but I didn't reach out in love. I didn't see them with your eyes. I was so wrong.

I am a Pharisee. I condemn toothpicks in the eyes of others (like this misguided television host) and miss the massive telephone poles that I allow to block my own vision.

Thank you, Lord for loving me anyway. Thank you, Brent, for the reminder. Perhaps God allowed this hurtful thing to happen, and you to share, that those who hear will not forget. I had heard the story--and yet I forgot anyway.

Thank you, Lord, for second chances. Thank you for your great grace. Remind me!

with tender love,

Marti

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Matt Littell said...

Goodmorning Brent,
Thank you for sharing this story. All too often to people look at what is on the outside, instead of what builds a person. Their foundation. Katelyn seems to be going through some growing pains herself, with her difficulties and people look at her outward appearance (learning level) as opposed the kid we know. It is very frustrating for her as well as us. Please continue to pray for her.
We had dinner with Deanna, and Brad last evening. This was the last time we would fellowship with Deanna as part of small group. It was good, you missed out on some of Bruce's Famous "Road Kill", and Lowell's Fish! But I took care of your portion for you. Don't worry, nothing went to waste. We enjoyed our time with Brad. Becky said when you could hear Brad in the other room it was almost as if YOU were there. He seemed to be doing well. We will miss you and Deanna, dearly, you have touched our lives in a way immagineable to most. We will see you again soon, I'm sure. We will continue to pray for you all. May God Bless each of you.

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this story, Brent. While I wish I could simply read it and be disgusted with the actions of that man, I know God is asking me to apply the story to my own life, and look for times when I display the same heart attitude.

I am so sorry that you went through that. The fact that you missed BJ's last awake moment made it an even harder pill to swallow, I'm sure. At a time like that, there's comfort in God's promise to "make up for the years that the locusts have eaten away", but it's still so difficult for now.

I don't know if you are aware of the story that has been unfolding this week in Michigan. Two families had daughters involved in a horrific car accident about 5 weeks ago. One girl died, the other was very seriously injured. Due to injuries that made both girls unrecognizable, there was a mixup in identity. Just yesterday, the family that thought they had been keeping a bedside vigil with their daughter found out that their daughter had actually died in the accident, and they had been caring for someone else's daughter.

As horrible as the situation is, this family (like yours) is reaching out in the midst of their heartache, and sharing God's hope with the world. Their response is one that could only come from people who know God in a very personal way.

I shared your blog address with them today, and I'm sharing theirs with you. http://lauravanryn.blogspot.com/

Praying for you all today!

Krista Meyer
krista@shilyspromise.org

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always enjoy so much reading the blogs and seeing how Christ is working through your lives. He just radiates from your blogs as you share your lives with us.

Thank you for the story this morning of reminding us to have the viewpoint of Christ. Working in a church sometimes I get so frustrated with sooo many people coming for financial help and feeling like they are trying to abuse the church and use the system. I confess that my attitude lately has been demeaning instead of seeing them in their need, mostly their need for Christ and his love. Thank you for reminding me!!

Everytime I hear the song on the radio "Praise you in the Storm" it brings your family to mind as you have shared such a hard testimony of praising him through the storm. We are continually praying for you and know you are always in our thoughts and prayers.

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

dad-

thank for sharing that story. that was a huge reminder of when i came back from last summer.. i felt the people around me were so completely stupid to what had happened in my life. i couldn't put into accurate words, and even when i could, they still didn't grasp it.. i began to deem their lives meaningless and full of nothing b/c they had not experienced what i experienced. slowly and surely.. and w/o much submission on my part, the Lord broke me of that. We have all been the Pharisee..

Lauren--thank for you yesterday. thank you for opening our eyes to something we know so little about.. please continue to share.

i love you all.. once again my plans for the dates are changing.. i'll try and get them finalized soon!

~kristin

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Blog family - PLEASE remember the families of Whitney Cerak and Lauren VanRyn in prayer - the 2 gals in the Taylor University accident 5 wks ago. A previous blogger told the whole story of what has happened , and it is also on the national news today. Lauren's memorial service is Sunday. Whitney needs a lot of prayer for recovery.

 
At 8:10 AM, Blogger Jan & Teresa said...

As a Sunday School teacher, we help our students realize that those without Christ do not realize the wrong that they do; that is why we need to share Christ, so they can make the right decisions! God knew your disappointment and your pain, and He knew your strength; and He promises to tell us 'why' when we get there! It was good for you to share this story; it will no doubt, happen again, to someone else. If you have not heard of the tragic misidentification from the Marion, Indiana, accident in April, involving 2 Taylor students, please go to lauravanryn.blogspot.com for an update. Here is another Godly family, walking the walk, and the gospel is spreading through the world, through the lives of young people, committed to Christ! Praying for your upcoming mission! Christ will be victorious!

All our prayers,
Jan & Teresa

 
At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higgings Family,
As you may have heard, there are two very Christian families who need prayer. The sister of each of these girls have been up-dating the blog site for five weeks, but a few days ago the other sister has taken over as they learned the girls were mistaken for each other. They remind me of BJ's sisters. BJ was mentioned in their blogsite. Please pray for these families and send them your words as you all have a way with words that has touched me.

 
At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent Higgins,
Would love to see you send messages to the families of girls who were mixed up in identities. Your words would be very touching to them.

 
At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,
I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for your honest heart and truthfulness, it is refreshing to hear someone be real. Its cool to read about real people who serve Jesus.

I am a musician, and I would be honored if you would check out my music. All music on my site is free for download. Anyway, don't want to be a pest, I just thought that I'd share.

Thanks,
-Sean
_____________________
www.SeanDietrich.com
"All my music is free."

 

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