Back in 1991, I did an internship as a hospital chaplain in Philadelphia. At that time, AIDS was a new thing, and honestly, the hospital wasn’t sure how to handle people with AIDS, they were not sure what precautions to take when treating AIDS patients, so they took every precaution possible.
I had an AIDS patient arrive in my chaplain area and so when I visited him, the hospital made me dress up like I was working with nuclear materials. This guy’s name was Timothy and since everyone was afraid of AIDS, Timothy had no visitors except the nurses who would race in and out of his room as quickly as they could.
So, as Timothy and I talked, I found that he had led quite the wild life, but recently had become a Christian. Timothy wanted to tell his friends and family about Jesus Christ, but here he was stuck in this room--no one would take his repeated phone calls home, no one would visit him. Timothy’s main concern that day was how he could get his window open far enough so that he could jump out. I had no advice on opening the window.
However, we did talk about God-honoring prayer. We prayed that Jesus would answer Timothy’s heartfelt prayer that he tell others about Jesus Christ.
About a week later, I was able to stop by to see Timothy again. I stopped by the nurses station to let them know I was going in to see Timothy. The nurse seemed surprise and asked me if I had an appointment with Timothy. An appointment. I didn’t need an appointment, I was a chaplain.
It turns out, I did need an appointment to see Timothy. Within a short week Timothy went from a pariah, to Dr. Phil. Timothy had started to dispense advice and pray with anyone who came into his room, and people’s lives changed. Nurses and different hospital staff who previously wouldn’t open his door, literally lined up to talk with Timothy.
Do you think any of that was an accident?
Location, location location - The Gospel will not be stopped, if we, like our brother Timothy are open to the Holy Spirit.
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