Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rick Varner

There I was sitting in sozo monday afternoon, when this guy Rick Varner came into the shop. Rick is one of the people who volunteers at sozo. You see, we have a lot of people who work here, and most of them are volunteers.

So Rick comes in, and he says Billy I've got to tell you about this miraculous provision God has made. Needless to say, my interest was piqued. So I invited Rick to sit down and join me at my table. He began by telling me a little bit of his story. Twenty-one years ago, he was given five years to live after he had a heart transplant. He should be dead, but he's not. And then, four years ago, he found out his kidney was failing. He was told that it was next to impossible for him to get a kidney, because the wait lists for donors were so long. Part of the reason wait lists are so long is because it takes a long time to recover from giving a kidney. At least it used to take a long time. Now, Rick says there's a procedure that takes about a week for both the donor and recipient to be back on the mend. Not only that, but Rick's wife was tested for the possibility of being a donor. Spouses usually don't make great matches for organ donations. Children, parents, or siblings maybe, but not spouses. Rick's wife is able to donate.

This means that rick (who is already a very energetic guy) will have even more energy very soon when he has better kidney function.

Rick is thoroughly excited to be part of the sozo team, but he hasn't always lived in Morgantown. For a long part of his life he lived in Parkersburg, WV where he was a youth minister at North Parkersburg Baptist Church. I had a roommate by the name of Jimmy Shreeves who went to that church and was involved in the youth group. As Rick and I talked, I discovered that he was Jimmy's leader. Small world.

Aside from the miraculous work God is doing in Rick's life, I have to remark on the profundity of our meeting and sharing stories. If I hadn't talked to Rick, I would have missed out on this remarkable miracle. I would have also missed out on his connection to my old roommate Jimmy.

Now picture this. There are people in your world who have profound stories, miraculous stories, tragic stories. Until you stop and listen, you'll never know, and you'll never be able to learn from them or share in their story.

Beyond that, none of us are as far apart as we seem. We're connected in a way that probably won't make sense to most of us on this side of eternity.

So as you read this blog entry, you can choose to sit silent and secluded in your own private world, or you can begin to share, You never know what God may be able to do with your story if you are brave enough to share it. Or maybe you just need to listen, because someone else has a story that you need to hear. Don't live as an island. Life is too short to miss out on all it has.

No comments: