Ebby and I have two friends. One young, one, hmmm (it’s all relative). One is from California, one from Colorado, a male and a female. Waudell Maple, Brother Mapes, is a 76-year-old hospice chaplain who was my youth director many years ago. Ashlee is a ten-year-old student. Brother Mapes said to use Ashlee’s picture. “She’s much prettier than this ole man.”
Brother Mapes takes Ebby, AKA Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends, to hospice patients and their families while they wait for the inevitable. He also passes him out at Starbucks (St. Arbucks) for an ice breaker to open up a discussion about Jesus. He takes him everywhere he goes. “But he has to ride in the back seat.”
Ashlee reads “Mud Pies,” from Ebby when she’s sad, “and that makes me laugh.” Ashlee laughs more than most as she waits patiently for a family to call her own. You can see she has that twinkle in her eye. It seems to say, “I know God has something up His sleeve.”
Brother Mapes has taken some nasty falls. It sounds like he’s pretty bunged up, but I’ve checked and his sense of humor is intact. From his latest e-mail: “Did you tell me the name of a nursing home you have reserved a room in? I may be looking for one. Don’t need Depends yet, just a wheelchair. Sheesh!”
Please pray for Ashlee and Brother Mapes. Pray they keep laughing and making everyone around them laugh.