Pathways through Lent

Chip’s Timing, God’s Timing

Psalm 119:161-168
Proverbs 16:16-20
Philippians 4:10-13
Matthew 25:31-40

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  Hebrews 13:2

Sometimes we as a people of faith find ourselves pondering the mysterious sense of timing that accompanies life-changing events. Coincidence is God’s Timing.

Such a sense of wonder surrounded the arrival—and eventual departure—of our “special” brother, Chip. Born with a variety of mental and physical challenges, Chip nevertheless maintained a sweet, trusting, and childlike disposition throughout his life. Even as a grown adult, Chip still reveled in Looney Tunes, Indians, and the regular trip to the Golden Dairy for chocolate ice cream. He was always our big “little” brother.

Mother and Dad were people of such stalwart faith in that 1950s Tennessee small-town, that they looked upon their first-born and his disabilities as evidence that we were entertaining an “angel unaware.” With limited educational options locally, it was the passing comment of a pastor friend-of-a-friend that found a life-long “home” for Chip at the nurturing Stewart Home School in Frankfort, Kentucky.

And it was here that God’s Timing for Chip came to fruition.

As his health declined, Chip spent more and more time in Kentucky health facilities, with our now-widowed mother at his side during her many trips from Tennessee. My siblings and I worried about them both being alone on this journey. At this time a local pastor, Rev. David Hilton, made a special effort to be with Chip and Mother, offering support, prayer, and comfort.  To ensure that they would not be alone.

And so when my mother sat at Chip’s bedside as his health failed, Rev. Hilton came to the hospital to offer a prayer – just at the moment my sweet brother passed over into God’s eternal light.

Mother was not alone; Chip was not alone. God’s Timing. Always perfect.

Alma Paty

Chip Hale
Chip Hale

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