It’s been a tough week in the Buford household, over here northwest of Dallas in Flower Mound.

Not that things aren’t tough all over. Obviously, they are.

And believe me when I tell you I know how blessed we are that things aren’t worse under these surreal COVID-19 circumstances.

But allow me wallow in self pity for a moment.

My 85-year-old mother Eudella moved in with Marcy and I about two weeks ago.

Mom and I drove from Florida in her car, a U-Haul trailer in tow and her dog Tiger in the back seat.

Of course, this was all happening as schools, businesses and churches began closing down in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

That left us to deal with a displaced mother coming to grips with a new life and new circumstances, essentially without being able to leave the house.

Then there’s the dog. Or should I say dogs.

Tiger is actually very sweet and very well-behaved. It’s our dog Murphy who is the problem.

Murphy is not at all happy about sharing her house with this interloper.

We’re having to keep them separated while we desperately try to get them better acquainted – with the help of a trainer who, of course, can no longer come in the house.

One dog sleeps upstairs, the other downstairs. We feed them separately. We walk them separately.

It was on one of these walks when things really took a turn for the worse. We were coming back from walking Tiger on Thursday evening when Mom fell in the doorway and broke her hip.

She had surgery the next morning and remains in Medical City Lewisville, where of course we are not allowed to visit. She is moving to in-patient rehab today, and we expect her to remain there for a week to 10 days.

As one might expect, I texted the church staff with news about my mother’s fall when it happened.

I needed support and prayers, and the pastors and staff have been a rock of encouragement and support to me and my family from the day I began working at First United Methodist Garland.

My text began with “When it rains, it pours,” which brings me to the point of this long-winded tale.

One of the first responses, and one I will remember for the rest of my life, came from Pastor Caroline Noll, our Associate and Pastor for Children and Families.

I didn’t keep the exact words (should have), but the gist of it was this:

“I’ll be praying for an umbrella for you and your family.”

Never has a prayer touched me more deeply.

Pastor Caroline is a gifted servant of God, one I’m blessed to know and to work with in ministry.

And on this particular day, I believe her comforting words were a gift from God, delivered through her.

God speaks to all of us in many different ways. He asks only that we listen.

Especially in this time when the rain is falling, and we all need an umbrella.

Published by Mark Buford

Director of Communications, First United Methodist Church Garland

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