Stories from the Basement

Stories from the Basement: December 2013

By Donna Clark RN, Director

God never gives us more than we can handle without his help!

He sat in our waiting room and appeared to be extremely intoxicated. We have known this client since the health outreach began. Over the years he has sobered up and at one time was clean and sober for over a year. Even in sobriety he could not live in a building, he had to live outside because the walls would close in on him at night. He has a great sense of humor and is a charming person when he is sober but when he is intoxicated he is a very different human being. This day was a quiet day at H.O.P.E., Inc. and we just let him sit. Over the 4 hour period he became louder and more aggressive. When I went to talk to him and get him to settle down I found a quart of mouth wash beside his chair. After we poured it out we found him unable to stand or walk. He just giggled and remained in the chair. It was obvious that he was not leaving on his own accord and it was closing time so the police were called. They managed to get him up the steps and off church property after a great deal of conversation. It’s so sad to watch as someone’s mental illness destroys him. He knows he will be welcome again but he must be sober. That was on a Friday.

Monday we came to work expecting a typical morning of being busy and we were. All volunteers were present and serving those in need. I had one very nice gentleman at my desk and we were discussing what documents he needed to get his ID. His color suddenly became gray and he gave me a funny look and said, “My arm hurts”. He became short of breath and I called 911. As we awaited the arrival of the ambulance his condition quickly deteriorated. All the while our volunteers continued to serve the other clients in the room, moving discreetly around the two of us. God certainly provides when you pray!! A retired doctor “happened” to be in the upstairs office and “happened” to have nitroglycerin in his pocket when he arrived to see if he could help. By the time we got the man to take the pill the Paramedics had arrived. He returned the next Friday to thank us for helping him and is now receiving health care.

Here at the H.O.P.E., Inc. office, God’s presence is felt every day. Today read Hebrews 13. Know He is always with us and knows our every need. Thanks be to God.