The Format-Part Two
By Joe Simmons
During the next two weeks Melody went in for surgery and began radiation treatments. She only missed a couple of days from work to recover from the lumpectomy, but it was obvious her energy level was much lower than normal. Yet, no matter how tired she was, she always made sure Tyler had everything he needed. He felt bad to see her have to go through this and felt it was up to him to help her now. Seeing that Melody's husband Bill had just had a cataract removed and could not drive, Tyler jumped at the idea of bringing Melody to her radiation treatments once a week. Melody was very grateful for the help the young man provided.
On one of the evenings Tyler was dropping Melody off at her house he saw some people getting out of their car in her driveway. "Oh, how nice!" Melody exclaimed upon seeing the couple. "The Cornwalls have come to bring us a meal tonight."
Before Tyler could say anything, Melody got out of the car. “What timing!” Melody called to her friends. “Please come in. Tyler, come in as well, I want you to meet my good friends from church.”
They all went inside to chat for a while. Tyler was intrigued at how much James and Patricia Cornwall clearly loved Melody and her husband. There seemed to be a genuine concern on their faces, and the fact that they had arranged for different families to bring meals through the toughest weeks touched Tyler deeply. This must be what “real Christianity” was all about. There was something wonderful about the faith these people shared. Someday he hoped he could find the time to ask them about it.
A few days later, Tyler was getting ready to head out to work when his phone rang. It was Bill. With a stressed tone, he informed Tyler that Melody had had a bad reaction to some medication, and was on her way to the hospital. Yet even though Bill was obviously shaken by the situation, he ended the conversation with this statement, "She is in God's hands though. With God all things are possible."
Tyler thought about Bill and Melody's faith all the way up to the hospital. He thought about it as he waited with Bill in the emergency waiting room while the nurses and doctor worked on stabilizing Melody. He watched Bill pray, listened as Bill read his Bible out loud, and he watched Bill tear up in thankfulness as the doctor entered the room and informed them that Melody had been stabilized. "Bill, you can go see her now."
Bill quickly left the room and was gone only ten minutes when he returned. “She wants to see you, Tyler,” stated Bill.
Melody smiled as Tyler entered the room. “Come here, and sit next to me, Tyler.” She grasped Tyler’s hand. Melody had a serious expression on her tired face. “I was so scared that I might not come through that reaction," she informed him. He was not surprised. Anyone would have been scared to go through something as frightening as she had. But it was what she said after that shocked him.
"I wasn’t scared for me, but for you.”
Tyler stared at her. How could she still be thinking of others even in the middle of possibly dying? With a choked voice Tyler responded, “For me? But, why?”
“Because there would be no one else to take care of you.”
With tears in his eyes, Tyler smiled. “You always have been right there to make sure I had everything I needed, but I need you to stop worrying about work and just get yourself better. We can take care of things at the station.”
Melody smiled gently, “I am not talking about work, Tyler. I am talking about eternity; a heart and life surrendered to live a life for Jesus.”
Tyler gave his usual response, “Oh, yes, that. Well, someday soon. You seem quite tired to talk too much now though. Maybe I should go."
Melody held tighter to his hand and he could see she was not quite finished. “Do you remember what happened a few weeks ago when you first heard that I had cancer?"
Tyler nodded. "How can I forget? Don broke the format by playing spiritual Christmas songs before he should have.”
Melody continued, “Yes, he broke the format. That format is the rules of the play lists for all stations. You follow it to a tee and get upset when someone breaks the format. Well, God has a format for our lives called the Bible. Long ago, Adam and Eve broke His format for living and sinned entered into the world. It is because man broke the format that we can't get to heaven on our own. Jesus had to come to the earth as a man, so He could die for us and make a Way for us to go to heaven. We need to acknowledge the fact that we have broken God’s format. We need to see ourselves as sinners, and ask Him to forgive us and come into our hearts to save us from an eternity in hell. He needs to be Lord of your life. All you need to do is call upon His name, and He can help you to live by the format He provided for us . . .” exhaustion overtook her. “I need to rest now. Please consider what I said.”
"I will, Melody." Tyler honestly replied.
As Tyler drove home, he passed by Melody's church and recognized James and Patricia in the parking lot. Tyler pulled in and called out to them, “Special meeting today?”
James smiled, “We are meeting together so we can pray for Melody.”
Tyler’s heart began to pound, “Can I join you?” When they nodded, Tyler parked his car and went into the church with his new friends.
The next morning, a nurse came into Melody’s hospital room with a radio. “I was told you needed to hear something on the radio this morning.” The nurse set the radio on the table and turned on the station that Melody knew so well. Yet, she was surprised to hear Tyler's voice over the air, when it should be Don's at this hour. “Good morning, my listener friends. As the manager of this station I have come to the conclusion that I have been following the wrong format all my life. Even though today is December 20th, we will be using a new format for the remainder of the holiday season. Starting today we will be taking requests all day for your favorite Christmas songs. A dear friend of mine showed me how we all must change the format in our lives and I can not think of a better way to show her then playing her favorite song, "O Holy Night." This new format is the one I now follow. ”
Tears came to her eyes as Tyler played her favorite song. Melody knew in her heart that Tyler had come to peace with her Lord and Savior. Everything would be fine for him no matter what happened to her. God had answered her prayer and she knew that God would take care of her friend Tyler, forever and always.