Bringing Hope To A Lonely Heart
Ed lives in a little town called Pinewood Springs, CO. You can try to look it up, but it doesn't show up on any map. Just a tiny spot in Larimer County off of route 36. In the rains, and ensuing flooding, of September 2013 the main routes... actually, the only routes to his home were cut off. Just north and south of him 36 was completely washed out. We took a winding mountain path, just newly "leveled" with tree stumps and boulders so that we could get to his home- quite a wild ride, the kind that requires 4-wheel drive, overlooks a sheer drop on the left and protruding boulders on the right - with just inches to spare on either side. It's a trip you never forget... and never want to take again.
Ed's home was on a hill and seemed an unlikely candidate for flooding, but when he opened his sliding glass doors on his lower level we were surprised to see puddles of water still gathered atop his carpet, a full three weeks after the rains had come. At 72 years old Ed definitely needed our help to clean out his home. While moving the beautiful paintings off the walls that we had to be demolished, we learned that his wife had been quite the gifted artist. She painted beautiful landscapes and wildlife, inspired by the beautiful countryside that surrounded their home. Last year Ed's wife, Glenda, passed away. Ed has been alone since her death, living in this remote area that most don't even know exists. He teared up as he told us of how she hated grocery shopping, and would only go twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall, and stock up on enough canned and dry goods to carry them through the next season. Now, he did all the shopping himself, and he hardly knew what to buy. We pulled up his carpet and scraped up the tile as he talked about their time together. They had been married 52 years. You could hear it in his voice--the way he spoke of her--that it had been a very happy half a century. They loved each other dearly through all the ups and downs of life, even in the last 3 years when she had been so ill. As we were taking out the drywall, Geno (one of our volunteers from San Diego) had a chance to talk to Ed about Jesus: the love, joy, hope, and peace that He brings. While carrying trim out the door, I could hear Geno praying with him, encouraging him, and blessing him. Ed came out of the laundry room (or what was left of the laundry room) with tears in his eyes.
That afternoon as we swept out the standing water and carried the last of his soggy carpet out of his home, Ed stood there amazed. His face was soft and sweet, his voice tremulous as he said, "Thank You." We were so blessed to help him, to be able to do something for this sweet man who was in such a hard situation. We all gave him hugs and asked if we could pray with him before we left. He was eager to pray with us, but before we did, he cleared his throat and said, "I just want to thank you so much for coming here. No one has loved me like this since my wife, before she died. I've never been loved like this by anyone else..." here his voice broke and there was another round of hugs. Chaz told him that we had been loved by God in very much the same way and we just wanted to share that love with him. It was such a sweet time of prayer. As we finished you could see hope restored in Ed's eyes, shining just as the sun shone above and warmed all of us who were a bit waterlogged from the days work. We took a picture with Ed to remember him by and then we were off down the road to make our way back over that precarious pass while we still could. We were wet and covered in drywall dust, but we were a content party making our way back over the mountains, remembering the hope in Ed's eyes as we left his home. You see, that's what we do; that's who we are. We are Christ In Action. We bring hope.
Colorado Flooding , Hope , Ed , Jesus , Bringing Hope ,