Tim with Ora Lee at her Bethea cottageTim’s mom Ora Lee Cox took the news about T.C.’s death pretty hard last Saturday, but she seemed to be doing okay until early Sunday morning. She was getting out of bed when she fell, breaking her hip and suffering a pretty serious heart attack as a consequence. She has been in the hospital since that time until yesterday, when she was transferred to the McLeod Hospice House. Her heart damage is too great for her to undergo surgery to repair the hip fracture – and she told the doctors she didn’t want surgery in any case.

Although she is awake, she’s very tired and has a hard time talking to the multitude of visitors she has every day. At nearly 89 with a history of heart problems, arthritis and kidney failure, her family knows that every day she’s still with us is a true gift from God.

Ora Lee has asked me a number of times since Tim died – “Why am I still here?” I have told her it’s because she knows how to pray in faith for her family and friends, and she does pray for them every single day.

None of us know just how great a warfare goes on all around us in the spirit world. “It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you…” and we have an enemy out to get us. The prayers of the saints like my faithful and much loved mother-in-law Ora Lee are not just “make work” activities for those who can’t do anything else. These prayers are God’s equipment, tools and weapons to get his kingdom built, expanded and established on the earth.

So why was T.C. killed? There’s one thing I know – it wasn’t because “God needed another rosebud in heaven,” like I heard in a funeral one time. It’s simply because the spiritual enemy got to his physical body. But the most the enemy can do to a believer is make him go to heaven early!

When I was debating about whether to go to T.C.’s funeral or stay with Ora Lee at the hospital, clear as a bell I could hear Tim say, “Look after Mama.” And so I have been staying with her, talking with her, praying for her, helping her with her meals, being as sure as I could be that her care was good and appropriate and that her pain was minimized as much as possible.

Ora Lee may soon be joining her mother, her spouse, son and grandson. We’ll miss her dreadfully and we’ll miss her faithful prayers for us all. For our sakes, I pray that the Lord will let us keep her with us a long time yet.

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