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My husband was in the hospital, our bills were piling up… how would I ever make it?
Many years have passed, but I’ll never forget that day in 1976, when I pulled two ivory envelopes from my mailbox. One, the phone bill. The other, a letter from my old friend Buz, who was due to visit me and my husband Clint the following week. Bad news first, I thought, walking into the house.
I tore the phone bill open. The amount made me cringe. $138.37–about $600 in today’s dollars. Back then, we simply couldn’t afford that.
Earlier that month, my husband, Clint, had been badly injured in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. He was still in the ICU, suffering from a broken collarbone, ribs and leg. His face looked like a jigsaw puzzle pieced back together.
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When I wasn’t at the hospital, I was glued to the phone, calling our friends and family scattered across the country to update them on Clint’s condition. His mom and four sisters in Michigan. His cousins in California. And, of course, Buz in Tennessee. No wonder our bill was so high.
Clint had a long road to recovery ahead of him. The medical expenses were piling up, not to mention our mortgage payments. What was I going to do about this phone bill... about everything?
At least Buz would be in town soon. I could use some support from a friend. I ripped open his letter, wondering why he’d written. I’d just talked to him to help him finalize his travel arrangements.
“Dear Bobbie,” the letter began. “I know now why the Lord didn’t let me make the trip to Orlando…”
What? Buz had cancelled his flight? Why? I read on…
“I find myself waking up at night thinking of you folks, and pray myself back to sleep. I have a tremendous yearning to be with Clint and you, but prayer will have to do for now. I don’t argue with the Lord and you don’t either…”
“He has told me to send you the price of my ticket for whatever cause you might need,” Buz wrote. “I have no idea what your financial condition is–but it’s not my business—it’s His!”
I shook the envelope. Inside was a check. The second I saw it, I ran to the phone and dialed Buz’s number. I didn’t worry about the cost.
The check was made out to Clint and me, for exactly $138.37.