(On a humorous note: The doctors told Mr. R. that he will have the blood DNA of a woman since his new stem cells are from his sister. We teased him last night that we can't wait to see how he changes. We suspect he will love musicals, cry over good movies, love to shop and knit constantly! Things his dear sister is known for. Of course we know that won't happen but it did bring a smile to his face.)
I don't know if the nurses and staff had experienced anything quite like what happened in that room last night. Approval had been given and they were in favor of the gathering around the bedside of Mr. R. They came and went as we sang and prayed and shared. I'm certain they must have sensed something of a blessing as they moved in and out of the room and as we prayed for them, too. Mr. R. had a fever when the procedure began but that didn't seem to hinder the plan. Just before we all left the room for the evening the nurse told us that we had 'prayed his fever away.' There is such a bond when we unite our hearts together for a common purpose - to seek God's touch on a dear friend. By the time goodbyes were said we were hugged by family and friends who just a few hours earlier had been total strangers.
We returned home with a sense of amazement at a number of things:
1. A renewed sense of the way God has made our bodies to work - fearfully and wonderfully.
2. The love one person can have for another - especially a sister for her brother - to go through a painful procedure to give the live-giving cells that can lead to renewed health.
3. How fortunate we are to be part of a group of loving friends who cherish and treasure the privilege to join together to help sustain their faith through difficult times.
4. What a Friend we have in Jesus - oh, the privilege to carry everything to Him in prayer.
5. How simple and amazing it is to give of ourselves and make a difference in the lives of our friends and their family.
6. The bond that can come in a short time when we leave behind pretense and we focus on relationships.
7. Most of all, the amazing grace and love of our Lord Jesus.
How appropriate to sit beside Mr. R's bed and sing together:
"Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come.
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home."**