Some five months ago I wrote about my friend David Stopke. David was accidentally shot by his own son while his son was cleaning a firearm. They were cleaning the gun following an attempted break-in the day before. David, who was shot through the neck in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was immediately flown to Las Vegas to a trauma hospital where he spent several months near death. It was there that I went to visit him a few days after the tragic accident. After a long stint in Las Vegas, with his life in the balance for several months, David recovered and was taken to Denver for further medical procedures. He was then taken back to Nevada for therapy and recovery. Before this year is over he hopes to go home. The fact that he is alive is truly amazing.
Over the course of these months I have had a number of conversations with David's family. They have expressed their profound concern for the prayers of all who know about their ordeal. I have also had two or three very short conversations with David. Each time two or three minutes was all David could handle. He could not talk easily with me on the phone. Then, just a few days ago, I got a call from David for the first time. He wanted to talk. He admitted that the pain and turmoil was almost unbearable. He wept when he explained the particular parts of his ordeal that had taken away what seemed to be the last remnants of his human dignity. He spoke about his being confined to a wheel chair the rest of his life but gave thanks for the ability to use one hand enough to drive his motorized chair. He told me of how his home was being transformed so he could eventually go back to Arizona to live. He counts the days as he works through various rehabilitation steps to get ready to live the rest of his life in his new condition. There was some sadness in his voice and a few moments of pain too. But there was also an incredible assurance of his confidence in God's sovereign kindness. What he longs for the most is to see all his family walking faithfully in the love of Christ. He wants no pity but he would be grateful for continued prayer for his wife and four children, as well as his several grandchildren
I have been deeply impacted by David's life for many years. He is a real friend. I am daily aware of how much he suffers with things that I do not face even though I carry my own health burdens. David inspires me to be faithful and to give thanks each day in all circumstances. Do pray for him if you remember.