Anna Schlegel

Literature Evangelist Victorian Conference.

Joe Paola

A lot of tinkering was happening on the verandah. Perhaps that’s why Gerry invited me into his home with some reluctance. Okay, it was messy, but he offered me somewhere to sit. As I commenced my canvass, the conversation began to take varied twists and turns.

Gerry identified he would have been in a better situation had he not given up community services previously available to him. He conceded his eating habits were suboptimal and readily identified how he could increase his fruit and veggie intake and clean up the place. We discussed realistic ways of increasing his exercise participation. I asked for a piece of paper and began to list all the things he identified that could positively impact his life. He also chose to purchase Foods and Their Healing Powers to assist his strategy to improve his health.

What about the barriers? Poor motivation? Depression? Gerry intuitively identified rejection by distant relatives and a dysfunctional relationship with his now deceased father as contributing factors to his mental state. His confronting dreams about his father reminded him they had never reconciled – he had never forgiven him. He felt hopeless and helpless. We began to discuss God’s character of love and forgiveness. I pulled out a random Signs magazine and it opened to an article about forgiveness as I flicked through the pages, explaining that he could still extend forgiveness to his father and be free of guilt and pain. He had loving and caring children and grandchildren and a supportive ex-wife, all of which were worth focusing on and fighting for – he agreed.

He accepted the offer of prayer. We prayed for his health, motivation, strength to continue with his resolve and that he could forgive. Gerry’s eyes welled up with tears. The Spirit had moved upon his heart and heaven had opened the doors of hope.

Anna Schlegel