Living an active lifestyle, working on his land, being a “chainsaw ninja,” Wayne Rock was living the life when he married his wife. Just when life seemed to be perfect, his journey would take an unexpected turn while on his honeymoon. Wayne would return a different man. He would never be the same again.
For their honeymoon, Wayne and his wife embarked on an adventure in Long Beach, California. After spending the day bodysurfing, Wayne and his wife spent a quiet evening hanging out and talking about life. All of a sudden, Wayne became light-headed and fell over. After suffering a neck injury, Wayne learned he would be a quadriplegic and would spend his life confined to a wheelchair.
Instantly, Wayne went from being self-sustaining to needing 4-5 people each week to care for him. He faced physical and financial challenges along the way. Although his life turned out differently than he had imagined, Wayne would soon discover love from an unexpected place in an unexpected way.
While Wayne was adjusting to his new routine, Phil Parlin’s wife told him about a quadriplegic that needed temporary help. It would require Phil to spend 15-20 minutes for 10 consecutive nights to help him get settled. Phil said yes and would soon learn how loving others in unexpected ways can transform your life.
Although he was worried about whether Phil would feel comfortable doing the things his caretakers do every day, it did not take long for Wayne’s fears to diminish. He found Phil to be a “real trooper” and was willing to do what was required to meet his needs. This relationship would blossom into a friendship of two men who would do life together.
After the 10 days were over, Phil didn’t just go back to his normal routine. He told his wife he wanted to do more for Wayne, to be there for him more. Since Wayne and Phil enjoyed each other’s company, Phil met with Wayne every Wednesday for lunch.
Describing his new friendship, Phil Parlin talks about how helping Wayne has transformed his life. Phil said, “What it’s given me is perspective…when I go and hang out with Wayne, I see what a great attitude he always seems to be in and his very happy disposition most of the time, that just helps me regain my understanding of what’s important in life.”
Wayne is so thankful for everything Phil does for him. He describes “having someone who is thoughtful enough and kind enough to do what Phil does is just amazing. It’s a gift from God.”
Watch the video to find inspiration in the unexpected way Phil Parlin showed love to his neighbor, Wayne, in a time of need!
This season, we are encouraging everyone to love those around us in unexpected ways. We believe the best way to make a difference is to act surprisingly, give generously, and share broadly. So, join Love Does The Unexpected and share your stories on social media using #LoveDoesTheUnexpected to show the world what the love and grace of Jesus Christ looks like.