I found out about this via The Freethinker yesterday and if I’ve ever been disgusted over a story I’ve come across, this has certainly trumped it.
Thirty-three year old Tillmon Webb died recently. He weighed around 800 pounds at the time. He’d injured his knee back in March (when he only weighed 550lbs) and he and his wife, Ada, couldn’t afford the $300 the medical facility demanded up front for an appointment. Tillmon returned home, laid naked in his recliner and never got out again. Instead, he got his wife to bring him his Bible and he spent the next eight months praying to God to heal his leg while his wife let him get fatter and fatter. When he did finally ask for an ambulance, the team had to cut around the door to get him out, and they had to cut the chair apart, too, because he was essentially fused to it after that many months. He later died in hospital. Here’s what blows my mind:
Webb says she has no regrets about leaving him in that recliner.
“If I feel anything right now, it’s envy for him because I wish he had taken me with him,” said Webb.
Greenwood County deputies will not charge Webb with a crime. They determined she had no malicious intent of neglect.
Neighbors at the trailer park said they had no idea Webb had a husband inside that trailer the whole time.
Tillmon kept busy with texting and posting sermons online while his wife cleaned him up as best as she could and kept giving him too much food, too, because how else could a person who can’t get to the fridge himself gain 250 pounds in 8 months? She could have limited his intake until he weighed two hundred pounds instead, but no. How much would he have been eating in a day to get that large?
“He read his Bible daily, he spent his full focus on God,” said Webb. “And he was literally waiting and praying for a Job miracle. If anybody knows the Bible and knows Job, he really and fully believed that God was going to heal him just like he did Job, because he said he couldn’t think of a better testimony to go out and to tell people.”
Unlike Job’s wife, Ada did not tell him he was an ass for trusting God. Tillman told her not to call anyone and she now wishes she could join him in Heaven. What kind of upbringing must Ada have had to obey her husband to that degree and not feel any guilt over what she let him to do himself through her?
The story of long-suffering Job teaches us that God sends misfortunes not just for sins, but that sometimes God sends misfortunes even to the righteous for an even greater confirmation in goodness, for the shaming of the Devil, and for the glorification of the righteousness of God. The history of the life of Job also reveals to us that earthly welfare does not always accompany a virtuous life for men and teaches us also to be sympathetic to those in misfortune.
Be sympathetic but do nothing to fix the problem? This could have been fixed. She could have petitioned at her church back in March (assuming they even had one) to let them know why they needed money and surely a congregation would have been sympathetic and willing to each toss a couple dollars their way. A church could have tried to raise money for an operation to fix his knee, had anyone known the couple needed aid.
I don’t have a conclusion. I just have sadness.