I looked up the definition for family and found what you would have expected; it only referred to a group of people you are directly related to. We know that family is so much more than that. When I think of family I think of someone who is there for me no matter what the reason or circumstance. When Jesus was on the cross He looked at his mother and disciple John and said Mother behold your son, and son behold your mother (Danny’s paraphrased version Lol).

A lot of people I meet either have no family, choose not speak to them or have been pushed away. We often think of something like this around Christmas or other “big” holidays, but because of where I work I think of it often. When I see someone walk in our doors I often will think about their lives and where they have come from. If you know me I am a very imaginative and random person, sometimes this is good, and sometimes not so much (my wife will often call me weird).

Recently there was a small confrontation at the shelter and a gentleman was pushed, he is 64 years old and he fractured his hip. The evening of the incident he needed to have a two pins and a rod put in his hip and is now in the hospital. I went the evening he was admitted to pray and speak with him, and I have been able to stop in every day since to check up on his status and try to keep him encouraged. The day after his surgery I noticed a card on his table that informed him that a family member needs to sign some papers; the problem is he doesn’t have any, so I signed the papers for him. When updating his information we discovered that his “next of kin” was someone whom he does not see anymore, and I became the “person to contact”, so if anything significant happened I would be called first.

I updated the gentleman of his information and suggested that he change his “next of kin” to someone else.

“Your my next of kin”, he informed me.

“Well I don’t mind, but you need to tell the hospital staff that.” Sure enough the next day I came in he informed me that I was now the “next of kin”. I am glad that I can be there for this man, but it saddens me that he has no family that he can call, or that will come see him. There has always been a spot in my heart for this individual and probably always will be. He has some serious decisions to make and pray that the Lord directs his path and heals his broken body.

It is times like this that I think of the scripture when Jesus said “When I was naked you clothed me, when I was in prison you visited me…” It was Sunday that the incident happened and he was admitted to the hospital. When I showed up one of the first things he said was “Danny your missing church.”

“I think my time is better spent here at your side.” I informed him. I visited Jesus in the hospital that night, when we go out of our way to bless the “least of these” then in the grand scheme of things we are blessing Jesus Himself.

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