This afternoon, I had a visit from Mr. Palmer, one of our patients. His hearing aid wasn't working, so I cleaned it and got it working again. It's one of my favorite parts of the job. The service is free and our patients really appreciate the help.
A lot of our patients are elderly and like to talk, and Mr. Palmer is one who can talk the longest. Fortunately, I can be a pretty good listener when I try, and I have heard some interesting things over the years. For some reason, today Mr. Palmer decided to tell me about his health scare last summer. He had a stroke and was in a coma for 5 days and in the hospital for about a month. Before he awoke from the coma, a doctor told Mr. Palmer's daughter that he would eventually wake up, that was almost definite, but that he wouldn't be much use when he did. Mr. Palmer seemed to confirm this diagnosis when he awoke and couldn't remember anyone or anything. He had a hard time talking and his head hurt. His two son-in-laws gave him a priesthood blessing and shortly afterwards, Mr. Palmer regained his memory and a lot of the functions the doctor didn't think he'd ever have again. Mr. Palmer made sure I realized that his recovery was long and hard and that he still has issues that he's learning to deal with, but then he testified about his belief in the priesthood over doctors any and every day.
I thought the story was finished, but he continued. A few weeks ago, he was going about his job - something about identifying and verifying cattle brands before the cows get sold/transported from auctions - and he found a stray who had slipped into the herd of a friend of his. Mr. Palmer couldn't recognize the brand, but he noticed a ear tag that had a phone number. He called the number and told the man who answered that he'd found one of his cows. The man came to pick it up, very thankful to have his cow found. While Mr. Palmer was filling out some paperwork, the man who had lost his cow chatted with the man who's herd the cow had temporarily joined. The latter man told him about Mr. Palmer's stroke the summer before, so he mentioned it to Mr. Palmer.
Mr. Palmer told him more details, including some of the things the blessing had said (he didn't remember the blessing, but his daughter had written key points down afterwards). Mr. Palmer was told he had family and friends on the other side who were waiting for him, but that it wasn't his time to die; he still had things to do here. He was also told his sins 'til then were forgiven, Making it the perfect time to die, Mr. Palmer remarked to me. He told the other man, There's just one problem, the Lord told me I have something more to do, but he didn't tell me what it was. The other man thought a moment before saying, You had to find my cow.
That struck Mr. Palmer as being highly significant. He quoted to me a portion of Acts 10:38, "Jesus of Nazareth...who went about doing good..." That, he said, is what I need to be doing, good.
How easily I get caught up in my own selfish desires and plans and forget to serve others. I needed this reminder that doing good needs to be high up on my to-do list.
Thanks, Mr. Palmer.