We just received word that a friend of ours was badly burned in a house fire, last night in Sweden. His name is Hakan, often affectionately called “the gentle giant” by people who know him well.
My heart hurts and I can’t wrap my mind around the idea of Hakan suffering the agony of terrible burns and possible loss of eye sight due to his injuries. All I can see is this tall, gentle, quiet man of God, sitting at my table and sharing about his wife and children. I remember, during his first visit here, he met our little granddaughter Clalire, and immediately picked up on her sense of humor and her ability to tease others at such a young age. He was drawn to her and I often saw him quietly watching and enjoying her.
On another of his visits, my mom was in a critical condition in intensive care and he came to the hospital with my husband and simply sat with us for several hours. He isn’t a man of many words, but his presence made us feel safe and peaceful. He has such a strong, yet gentle way about him — which is why friends call him the gentle giant.
His house was completely burned, but his wife, children and foster children were able to get out safely. His burns are due to his clothes catching on fire. Details are sketchy, but we know his wife has burns on her arm as a result of leading him out through the flames, and the children are hospitalized with smoke inhalation. Hakan is in a special burn unit in another hospital away from his family, and I can only imagine how he must long for his wife’s loving voice and touch. Yet, I know he has a very deep and close relationship with Jesus, and he will turn to Him for comfort and strength to face this ordeal.
I wish we could be in Sweden and be a support to him, his wife and family; and yet, I am so grateful for prayer which can span the distance between us. There is peace knowing God is right there with him, and can comfort and encourage them at this crucial time.
To anyone who happens to read this post, please pray for our friend and for his family. My heart is turned to God and I am earnestly praying for a full and miraculous healing!