We all know that 2020 was not an ordinary year. I feel it was a short year. I haven’t done many meaningful things, and it has passed. But God has let us hold hands with “Lazarus”, which brings me a little relief amidst all these regrets.
The “Lazarus” is certainly not the paralytic Lazarus in the Gospel of Luke, because this Lazarus is even more paralyzed, lying on the bed, not even able to move his fingers. That is, the organs above his head all function well, while the organs below his head are all unable to function. He is not vegetative, but he is like a plant and cannot move.
The surname of this brother is Cui. His registered permanent residence is in Hebei Province. He was not a believer at first, but just a stranger in distress. He had a car accident while he was working in Shandong and was sent to the city hospital. Because the accident happened at the border of two cities and involved multiple parties, it was a particularly complicated case. This unfortunate victim, however, has a more complex and unfortunate background.
His wife died of illness at an early age. His daughter grew up and had a family, but in an accident, all three people in the family died... He came to Shandong, worked hard, and wanted to start a new life. However, he encountered another disaster. His new girlfriend waited on him for two months, then suddenly disappeared, along with the seventy thousand yuan he had saved over the years. . .
For more than a year, the handling of the accident was still fruitless. As a result, he became a large debtor at the hospital. Lying alone in the back corner of the hospital ward, he had received special attention from some kind of medical staff and had also been miserable for days without eating.
When a brother was in the hospital, he heard of this special patient, so he went to see him, and preached the Gospel to him. Cui did not have any other choice but to accept the Gospel. From then on, this stranger with the surname Cui became our brother!
When the brothers and sisters from the church nearby heard of this, they went to see him from time to time. When I first saw him, he was lying on the bed, seemingly barely alive. He was extremely thin and his skin was pale. His fingers twisted and turned outward, his fingernails long as hawk’s claws... When our sisters washed his feet, the dead skin scraped from his feet almost filled half a bowl...
During this period, it took us some effort to contact the village committee of his hometown, hoping that they can come forward to receive him, but later they did not even answer the phone. Some brothers contacted a news hotline, hoping that they would pay attention to him and bring some help, but after learning of the situation, they responded negatively no matter how many calls our brothers made.
This year, already the third year after the accident, Cui’s case finally came to a conclusion. The insurance company paid more than 600,000 yuan, but the lawyer and the hospital held the money he owed to them, so Cui received nothing. After a few more months, he owed more than 70,000 yuan to the hospital. Later, a brother called Liang contacted a well-known charity group willing to take care of him for free, so he went to talk to the hospital.
After several negotiations, the hospital finally agreed to exempt all the fees owed, but an agreement must be signed and sealed by the higher church. So Liang called the first official of the local church, who also knew about Cui’s situation, and he said, “There will be the responsibility for this, I will discuss it with the other co-workers.” This discussion didn’t end well.
We had to negotiate with the hospital again. Finally, Liang and I signed and sealed the deal. By God’s special grace, the hospital agreed to hire a car to send him to the destination seven hundred miles away.
On that day, Liang and I went to the hospital before daybreak. We didn’t expect to see an old sister waiting in the ward, holding some soft quilts for Cui. Then there were two brothers and two sisters who helped him onto the car and waved goodbye to him as if they had been friends and family for many years!
We went together with a retired old sister. She took out a few thousand yuan and said this is the money somebody donated. There was 200 yuan, which was donated by an old sister that morning. The family of this sister was poor, and that was part of her subsistence allowance.
Liang said that taking care of Cui, which was the duty of the church, was being done by other people, and we must not bring an economic burden to the other people. Then he raised more than 20,000 yuan from his church...
After a few months, Cui now lives a happy life in that team, with the warm care of love and firm faith... After two more visits, I found that Cui has a rosy face and a cheerful disposition. I suddenly discovered that he is also a man who likes laughing and talking. But sometimes tears would well up in his eyes as he spoke of the grace of the Lord: With belief, a man who can’t even die could also live such a happy life.
I still remember on the way back to see Cui off. Liang, the other sister, and I talked about how few meaningful things one can do in one’s life that one cannot forget. I laughed and said, “Brother Cui is a Lazarus in distress. When we saw him off, we were carrying him on our backs.”
(The article is originally published by Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Nicolas Cao