Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

Moving mountains


Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God! I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him. That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours. Whenever you pray, forgive anything you have against anyone. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your failures.”—Mark 11:22-25 (GWT)

I’ve been away for a while, but I have good news to share on a couple of fronts.

After my Dad’s stroke in March, I’ve been trying to get him qualified for Medicaid since he has no insurance. This has basically meant liquidating everything he owns. The problem is that most of his property looks like this:

Lots of scrap lying around… vehicles that don’t run anymore… weeds and trees that are overgrown and out of control.

The inside of the house was even worse. I think the Unabomber might have lived better.

I don’t really like sharing too many of these pictures, because it makes Dad seem backwards, but he’s just a DIY kind of guy that loves the outdoors and has made do without announcing to the rest of the world that he was living without electricity… or running water.

The problem is that cleaning up the house and getting anything of value out of it has been a chore. Every Saturday I go up to Lafayette, spend 4 to 6 hours on the house, and then if I have about a half-hour to spare, I run by the nursing home for a few minutes to see how he’s doing. Eventually, I’ve realized that is backwards… I should be working to spend more time with Dad and less time on his things.

But there’s just been so much work.

So, here’s where the good news comes in. Medicaid said that I had to put Dad’s property up for sale. I’ve been half-hearted about it for months, because I don’t like the idea of selling the place where I’ve grown up and I’ve been trying to get what’s of value to Dad out of the house.

Last week, I was up at the house waiting for someone to haul 4 of his 13 junk cars away (that’s not a typo). One of the jobs I did that day was to replace the “For Sale” sign that kept getting blown down from the traffic on the highway.

Two hours later, I was pulling into our garage at home talking to an interested buyer.

Our God has a crazy sense of timing.

Someone wants to buy the property. Even better, he doesn’t care that the property is as-is. He volunteered to purchase it and clean everything up himself. While I appreciate it and it might be a last resort, I think we will have an estate sale.

That’s going to be a huge burden lifted.

No more Saturday trips with the kids in the van going stir crazy.

No more leaving the house as if I felt I had barely made a dent in the mess.

People are going to come to Dad’s house, pay money for his junk, and then remove it from the premises for me.

Even better, we can use the money to pay for the expenses Dad has already racked up… close to $200,000 now.

Once we get his nursing home bill paid off, we can move him down to Indianapolis so he’ll be closer to us.

A month ago, I was looking at this mess and wondering when the nonstop parade of angry creditors for his medical bills and hoops to jump through to qualify him for Medicaid was going to end.

In one weekend, God laid down the plan I had needed and made the circumstances happen to clear the path, and now we’re finally getting that mountain out of the front yard.


4 thoughts on “Moving mountains

  1. So excited for you and Erika.

    Thinking of God’s beautiful promises in Jeremiah 29:11.

    He loves you. 🙂

  2. So not an easy process physically, and definitely a difficult one psychologically, as you have so eloquently described. Will continue to keep you, your Dad, and all your so-sweet girls (love ya, Erika!!) in our prayers.

  3. I’m glad you’ve finally got some relief on the way.

    I know this has been a huge burden for you in just about every way possible.

    But now you’ll get to spend more time with your dad.

    And another thing – your kids are watching you. They’re learning how to honor their parents. You’re setting an example for them that will be forever etched in their minds.

    My folks have done the same thing for their parents, and I know the impact it’s had on me.

    Press on!

  4. Yeah! So many praises through such a stinky time. It is so wonderful that about the time you realized “… I should be working to spend more time with Dad and less time on his things.” God started taking care of the rest. I’m sure there’s lots of work still ahead, and a long road with your dad will still offer challenges. Excited for you all that you will be able to move him closer and keeping all of you in my prayers. Love you guys!

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