Once again our Pastor at the Colts Neck Reformed Church, Scott Brown, started the wheels of my brain turning again during our sermon today. He said something that resonated with me. He stated that we should not make ourselves out to be more than we really are. I loved it. I thought of scores of people who really ought to pay attention to those words of wisdom.
In the same sermon he also stated that we need to be grateful for what we have even when things are not going our way. That makes sense to me. I have always worked hard to remember to say thank you to those fine people who have been kind enough to share their thoughts, words, and deeds with me. Once again someone has accused me of possessing a great deal of common sense.
I shared that person's thought with my lovely wife. She lives for moments like that when she can laugh, scoff, and roll her eyes all at the same time. That is the sort of thing which led me to the title of this blog entry. I really want to share with you the thought that I am not all that brilliant. I just have lots of friends who are and who are willing to share their thoughts with me. It is then up to me to take notes on what they say and then share my thoughts with you. I am merely a reporter, as it were.
Part of our pastor's message involved sharing a concern for those folks who are not doing as well as the rest of us. There are a great many people in the world who are facing adversity today. There are those who are facing the Valley of the Shadow of death, there are those who are walking thru the valley, and there are those who have emerged from the valley into the bright sunlight of the fertile area beyond the valley. No matter what the stage of the journey, you and I must be there to support the people who need our prayers and encouragement.
I shall leave you to make your own decisions regarding the value of prayer. I know what I believe. Studies by health care professionals have shown that there is a strong positive effect tied to the use of prayer on behalf of those who are experiencing severe medical problems. They always stop short of saying how important prayers are, they just suggest a positive influence.
Let me share with you that I believe in the value of prayer. During the past ten days my best friend in the whole world, Jack Peltier of Marlborough, Massachusetts, has been making his personal journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. A series of serious health concerns has laid my friend low. There were diagnoses covering such things as sepsis, urinary tract infection, and Guillian Barre Syndrome. There was even a time when the surgeons at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boston held off on surgery because they did not think Jack would make it.
While speaking with Jack's son Jim, on Friday afternoon, I mentioned how many people around the country were praying for his dad. I also mentioned the priest who had said a mass for Jack that morning. Jim said to me that the prayers must be working, because it did not seem like anything the doctors were doing was having an effect. Yesterday (11-21-09) Jim called me to tell me that Jack was making strides towards getting better. He said that the internal bleeding had stopped and that they were working on attacking the infection in Jack's blood.
Imagine how great it was to get a phone call from Jack just before I left for church today. While he did not sound totally like himself, the fact that he was on the phone brought tears to my eyes. He told me that his family had shared how many people across the country were praying for him. He then mentioned that he wanted to call my Pastor, Scott Brown, to thank him for the prayers and support. I do not want to get overly excited, but I am heartened by the fact that the hospital is considering sending Jack home in time for Thanksgiving.
Let me share with you the fact that Ken McMahon from Delaware and I will be making a trip up to visit with Jack in Marlborough during the next couple of weeks. He is our buddy and we want to be there with him. While we have nothing more to offer than friendship and prayers, I will suggest to you how important these two things are. In good times and bad, prayer, friendship, and thanks have an important role to play in society.
So like I said at the outset here, I am not that brilliant, I just take good notes. My interviews and the notes I have accumulated have convinced me that prayer and medical skill have saved my friends life. These are things for all of us to celebrate. So join with me in a prayer for my friend Jack Peltier.