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Thoughts from our team...

It Feels Good to Care

January 30, 2024

From Pastor Joseph Wamack

It feels good to CARE. To know someone cares for you and to care for others is healing and comforting. And sometimes caring shows up in the strangest ways at the strangest times and places.

I remember something that happened about 15 years ago with my son, Aaron. He was probably about 23 or so. Aaron was a “free spirit” which is a nice way of saying-he was trying to find his way in life. We lived in Orlando-I was a pastor and a hospital chaplain. Aaron lived (still lives) in Atlanta. Like a lot of people, he lived paycheck to paycheck, about one step above the poverty level.

One morning, back those 15 years ago, while working at the hospital, I received an early morning call from  Aaron’s friend and roommate, Michael. Michael said, “Have you heard from Aaron recently?” Not really the words a dad wants to hear. “No,” I said, “I haven’t talked to him in a week or so…(gulp)…why?”

“Well,” Michael continued, “he didn’t come home last night, he didn’t show up for work today and he is not answering his phone. I will keep trying to find out what is happening and let you know.”

Definitely not the kind of phone call I wanted to receive. Now I had to try to work and focus on patients while constantly thinking about my son. An hour went by-Michael called back, “I have filed a police report, do you know his license plate number?” I happened to know it (it pays to be overly detailed sometimes). There were two or three more calls for his Social Security number, date of birth-and the hours slowly passed.

With each minute, I was growing more and more afraid. My son was notorious for being overly trusting, not carrying his wallet, not locking his car etc, etc, etc. My fears took over and my mind started racing. I imagined him on some cold slab at the morgue, an unidentified “John Doe.” My precious son, lying pale and dead-alone-and no one cared-no one knew who he was. That is literally what I was thinking.

Finally, after about 4 LONG hours, Aaron called me, “Sorry Dad for all of the problems, I didn’t go home last night and I left my phone, I was working. And blah blah blah.” I was standing in the Emergency Room, and immediately burst into tears, just to hear his voice, just to know he was alive, just to know he wasn’t in a hospital or in a gutter. I couldn’t talk, I was crying so much. My son was alive!

And here is the CARING part. One of the doctors came up to me and put his arm around me and said, “Are you alright?” I turned to him and blubbered out the entire story about Aaron etc, crying the entire time.

And I have to tell you, from that day forward, that doctor was one of my favorites because he had taken a moment to show me he cared. He didn’t know me well, he didn’t know my story, but he did what he could to show he cared. And that was all it took. I felt CARED FOR.

Caring sometimes requires a lot-sometimes just a little. But if you examine caring closely, it is usually small things, small moments all strung together by love. Do you want to make a difference in 2024? Do you want to affect change for good? Do you want to be the hands and feet of Christ to a hurting world? The first step is to care and then to show it in BIG ways or in small ways. It makes no difference. Change happens one heartbeat at a time when we are cared for. Care for others. God bless you and our MAC family in 2024 as we care for others and allow ourselves to be cared for.


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