Last week, tucked in my random Sunday reflections was a comment about a friend and former co-worker who was killed in a traffic accident at the young age of 36.  I’ve been following the daily updates on his wife and families progress and recovery and things are moving forward.

This week we got word that my brother-in law, Mike was in the hospital.  By the time we arrived he was just coming out of surgery. Word is his jaw was broken in a couple of places as a result of being severely beaten.  The oral surgeon operated for 2 1/2 hours and Mike has his jaw wired shut for the next several weeks so the bones can heal.

During the initial days of his recovery he is staying at our home in our spare bedroom.

A couple years ago I nicknamed “the spare room”, “despair room”.

Despair room is a bedroom that each of my kids and other family members have used at one time or another as a place to stay when they need a place to hang for awhile, sometimes because of a desperate time in their life.

On one hand we had a choice of having Mike in our home again.  I have lost track of the number of times he has come and gone.  On the other hand, it’s not as if I felt like I could say no.  Mike has his problems that he perpetuates by his lifestyle choices and he has been in and out of homeless shelters since I first met him 13 years ago.

God uses the people in our lives to teach us lessons and to move us from being self-sufficient to God-sufficient.  The human side of me would have said, no, we’ve given him so much help and yet he continues to screw up.  But thankfully God does not have that kind of attitude towards me or us.

So it is with Gods example that my wife and I make adjustments and do our best to help Mike as he recovers and stays with us once again for awhile.

When I first heard that Mike was hospitalized, it was a chaplain at the hospital leaving a message on our voicemail with his room number.  When a chaplain calls with that kind of message, you wonder if your brother-in-law is about to die.  Given the news from the previous week of the death of my young friend, it was the first thought that crossed my mind.

Which brings me back to the title of this, Days that Count versus Counting The Days. Because we cannot accurately count the days or years we have left, my goal is to live Days that Count.

Along with the events I mentioned, my week was filled with 50+ hours of work, helping one daughter & family move and visiting my other daughter & family for a birthday party.  We also enjoyed a retirement party for a friend and spent some time hanging out at an outdoor restaurant called The Deck overlooking a river in downtown Fort Wayne.

Live each day with open eyes, ears, and an open heart.  Do not let opportunities to help, give, listen, serve to be pushed aside or ignored. Instead, weigh the opportunities and see how God wants us to respond.

Your thoughts are always welcome.

By the way, the image with this post is a drawing of Mike done this past year by a fellow homeless man who has since passed away.