Wednesday is for Prayer
The elderly man, Bill 87, was speaking to an elderly woman, Ruth 94, in hospital room 335 at Mercy Hospital. It was Monday, and I was at the hospital with my mother (room 332) as the family was preparing to bring her home to hospice care at my brother’s home in Michigan. I had just signed mom’s discharge papers when I decided to return the Bible my brother Karl had been using to the waiting room. It was six steps from mom’s room to the room where Bill had just made his declaration about his likely destiny. It took me just three more steps to pass the door to room 335 but it was long enough to overhear his conversation.
Two seconds earlier or two seconds later, I don’t hear any portion of Bill and Ruth’s discussion of eternity. Their combined 181 years doesn’t leave much sand in the hour glass for a change of address.
Acts 17:26 (ESV)
26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
“Lord, you let me overhear that conversation for a reason. Help me to be bold and use it proclaim the gospel in some way.”
We chatted for a bit. I asked him if he had any spiritual background and he said “Catholic” but that he didn’t really go to church. “You know,” I said. “spending eternity in heaven is really a simple matter. Jesus said all those who die in Him, in Christ, shall live even if they die. Dying in Christ simply means repenting of sin and believing the gospel …”
About ten minutes later I exited the room knowing that Bill and his friend Ruth knew what the gospel was and what they needed to believe and trust in to have their sins forgiven and their eternity with Christ secured. I was able to go next door to my mom’s room and retrieve a copy of my book on the suffering of Christ and give it to him as a gift and encouragement to believe.
Once again, it was an example of what it means to be intensely local.
So today, would you pray for Ruth and Bill, my new friends from room 335 at Mercy Hospital. Pray that both would place their faith completely and finally in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.
Pray for my mom as well, that the hope of the gospel would continue to minister hope to her as she looks at some of her last images of earth this side of heaven.
UPDATE: Mom walked into the arms of Christ on August 25th, 2010. We look forward to seeing her again in the radiance of Christ.