One of my favorite photos of my mom, Fern Hibbard, taken when she was in her early twenties.
My smartphone rang at 10:30am on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. My brother, Craig, was calling to tell me that my mom had been admitted to College Station (Texas) Medical Center with a blood clot in her leg and a possible pulmonary embolism. I was told her condition was critical.
Rewind to July 27, 2012. Gary Fong, world-reknowned photographer and the founder of the Genesis Photo Agency and Christians in Photojournalism, had just assigned me to shoot photos in Kansas City, Missouri for a magazine story. Gary lives in San Francisco, California so I had never met him in person. We communicated on the phone and through emails. After I completed the project, I thanked Gary for the opportunity to work with him and we promised to stay in touch.
Sixteen months later, I received an email from Gary on the very day of my mom’s emergency:
“Scott, I haven’t talked to you in a while and hope the Lord is taking care of you and your family. Where has the Lord taken you lately? How can I pray for you? Agape, Gary Fong.”
Many people might shrug off Gary’s email as coincidence. As a follower of Christ, I believe God moved Gary to reach out to me. After I informed him about my mom’s condition, he shared it with the Christians in Photojournalism board of directors so they could lift her up in prayer together.
The Apostle Paul says that disbelieving in God’s works is called “spiritual blindness.”
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:3–4 (NIV)
My mom is still in the hospital but her status is improving and she is comfortable. I thank God for lifting the veil from my eyes many years ago so that I’m no longer spiritually blind and I can see His love, mercy and grace in my life through the compassion of people such as Gary Fong.