Karen and I were high school classmates. In fact, she was the first person who initiated a conversation with me in the high school. “Hi, I am Karen. Are you from Hong Kong?” Karen introduced herself to me in the hallway when we were supposed to move from one classroom to another during a break. In January 1990, my family immigrated to Toronto. It was hard to be a newcomer in the middle of the academic year. In the next three years, Karen S., Karen L., Ana, Claudia, and I had lot of precious moments during ESL classes and in the school cafeteria. After high school graduation, we went different paths. It has been years since we last met, and I was shocked to visit Karen in an unconscious state, in an isolated room, inside the Intensive Care Unit.
I looked through the window which separated Karen and I. She slept peacefully with tubes and machines connected to her. I spoke to Karen through a microphone with tears rolling down my cheek. I was speechless but prayed for her with Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow up all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
God is our healer who brought Karen out of her coma. With prayers, petition, and thanksgiving, many brothers and sisters in Christ interceded for Karen. Within ten days, Karen has been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to the general ward. Now, she is able to breath on her own and is learning to walk around her bed with a cane.
During a recent visit, Karen and I shared how Psalm 23 encouraged us while she was in the Intensive Care Unit. Although, in this physical world, she lay on a bed, it was indeed like resting in the green pastures, by the quiet waters, because God was with her. When she was downcast, her spirit was lifted by the lyric of a song written from Psalm 23 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efm9xdyGUTs). She used her hands to beat the rhyme of the song and praised God in the midst of her adversity. God was there to comfort her. In combating her illnesses, God’s anointing – his blessing and strength – was with her. Furthermore, Karen’s parents are not believers and her family is deeply touched by the support of brothers and sisters in Christ. They have experienced the goodness and love of God through the words and deeds of Christ’s ambassadors.
The Lord is our shepherd. When I count my blessings, I am grateful that Karen S., Karen L., Ana, Claudia, and I came to know the Lord through different circumstances, at different stages of our lives. I am thankful of Karen’s friendliness and optimism. I admire her courage and faith in God. Her smiles brings warmth to my heart. It was God’s special treat to us that Ana and I could give Karen a foot massage in the hospital. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever ! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).