Sunday, January 10, 2010

For the long-haul.

Walking to the doorway I noticed a man sitting in a wheelchair. From where I stood I could only see his bandage-covered legs. They looked so painful. As one of the nurses walked in to take care of him, she closed the door. When she did, I began to pray for this man. I didn't know what was wrong but I knew it was bad. I asked the Lord to give him conviction that would lead him to repentance.

After many minutes the door opened wide and the nurse wheeled her cart out into the hall. I asked her if I could talk to him for a few minutes. She told me it was a great idea.

When I first began visiting in this particular nursing home, the staff was wary of me. Being protective of the residents, they wanted to make sure I would not disappoint them. Many people come to visit the residents...once or twice. But most don't come back. I admit it is sometimes very sad, but when I think of these people not hearing the gospel, I am compelled to go.

I was told the situation was grave; he had cancer and would not be here for long. I introduced myself and confirmed his name as I had seen it on the door.

"Do you have a couple minutes to talk to me?" I asked him.

"Two minutes...two days, two weeks." he said.

"Oh, great! I would love to get to know you a bit. Where are you originally from?"

He tried to answer but was unclear. He tried again but I could not understand what he was saying.

The CNA who was now in the room told me he was from 'up north'. I asked him what he used to do for work. I finally heard him when he told me that he had been a long-haul truck driver for 48 years.

"I know that you understand me and I want to ask you some questions. Are you up to it?"

He nodded and said, "Yes."

I told him that I was going to use the 10 Commandments to see what God would say. He was very honest and listened carefully to each question. He admitted to being a liar, blasphemer and adulterer.

"Since the scripture tells us that man is appointed to die once and then the Judgment, we know we will all be judged by God when we die. If you stood before God tonite do you think He would say you are innocent or guilty of breaking His Law?"

"Guilty as sin."

"Would He send you to Heaven....or to Hell?"

"To Hell."

I paused to let this fact sink in a moment. R. let me know that it bothered him to think of spending eternity in that awful place. He told me that he had heard of Jesus and also that He had died 'for our sins'. But after talking about the difference between head knowledge and complete trust, he realized the difference. He also realized that saying, 'I'm sorry about that' to God was not the same as repentance.

"God says we have to leave it behind us. When you drop the load, then you move on. You don't reload it, right?"

"Right." he mumbled.

"Is this making sense? Have you ever heard this before?"

"Never." (That answer always takes my breath away.)

"Do you think it's important enough to take care of?" I paused.


"It can only be taken care of by you talking to God, and since only God knows the number of our days it's quite a gamble to let it go. Do you want to talk to God and get this straightened out?" I gently asked him.

"Yes, I do."

"You can pray if you would like to and then let me know when you're done and I will pray, ok?"

R. said 'OK' as he looked up at the ceiling. After a few moments he looked at me.

"Are you finished praying?"


"Jesus made a payment for us we could never make, Isn't that awesome?"

"Absolutely, I believe that!" The smile on his face was priceless.

Psalms 91

No comments: