A Day in the Valley
by UP Founding Member Lukes Lionheart
From October 14, 2011
Another great day in the kingdom. What started as anxiety and stress transformed into a celebration of the Lord.
Tina has been off her meds for the last few days and has been on the agitated side as of late. That in itself is stressful and it’s been going on for days now. At the moment she is convinced that a local radio station is at the mall giving away tickets to an AC/DC concert. So she walked up there. I don’t know, she might be right. Just because I haven’t heard of a concert doesn’t mean it’s not happening. We will see when she gets back for Karaoke tonight. (shudder).
Mike had forgotten about his court date in front of a Tulsa judge today. His court-appointed lawyer contacted Chris, my co-assistant pastor here in the valley, and informed him that Mike’s probation had been revoked and that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He further advised that Chris help Mike make arrangements to turn himself in to authorities in Tulsa as soon as possible.
Of course Mike was a mess. I have never asked what his crime was, though the ministry, as a policy, checks public records of the folks we come into contact with. I have never seen his record. What I do know about Mike is that he is among the most loving, kind persons I have ever known. He is a bit slow and has memory problems and the fact that he has a rather apparent cleft pallet marks him as different.
Chris is Mikes’ SSI payee and his advocate. He took Mike to Tulsa two weeks ago when Mike had to appear before the judge for failure to complete, or to have scheduled to complete a polygraph test to satisfy court requirements. At that time the judge ordered him to get a test scheduled and to appear before the court again today. So after his conversation with the public defender, Chris went to bat for Mike again.
In the meantime, Mike had shown up here at Joe’s, as mentioned, as mess. Laura, the self appointed, but in truth, a spiritual warrior, and I hugged on him and prayed with him as he processed and thought of arrangements we would have to make for his trailer and his dogs. This was the state as I left to go check on my buddy Jimmy. When I returned an hour or so later, Mike was throwing his hands in the air in happiness. Chris had just called and somehow he had convinced the judge to extend mercy and ordered Mike to appear before him Monday morning. There is no way we are going to let him miss this date.
But also, at the same time, I found out that Crystal’s 20-year-old daughter Donnell was back in the hospital. Donnell had a liver transplant a little over a year ago. Her liver had been destroyed by Hep c. Everything had been going well up until a couple of weeks ago when her numbers started going down and her body started showing signs that it was rejecting the transplant. She was taken to the hospitals for a few days to stabilize her. She came home just a few days ago but for a while she will have to endure daily doctor visits for monitoring. Today, her doctor called her and told her to meet him at the hospital as soon as she could because the tests weren’t good. Crystal was walking toward my car as I pulled into the parking lot. We hugged and prayed, I gave her son Jerry a hug on my way in. She was just waiting for her boyfriend to get off of work so they could meet Donnell at the hospital. I am confident that we will see the Lord at work here.
Well. I set here now and I see our Boot Camper, Allison, helping David with a bible study. I see Mike sitting outside looking blissfully relieved. Now she is praying with Jerry about his big sister. A few minuets later the three of them are playing Skip Bo, one of our favorite games here. Earlier I saw a sober David offering sound counseling to two new alcoholic friends that have started hanging out here. Even better, Tina has just arrived in anticipation of Karaoke later tonight (again. shudder). I will have to ask her if she got those tickets. And, even with the uncertainty and concern of Donnell’s situation, I see that God is already at work. I think I’m starting to understand the term “the Kingdom of God is at hand.”