Monday, February 4, 2013

Tiny Tina's Big Decision

Glancing into the room, I saw a very small woman in the midst of a lot of medical equipment. She might have weighed 75 pounds. She had a tracheostomy in place and and I could hear a lot of congestion. These visits are more difficult than usual. It isn't easy to see someone in this condition, straining for every breath.  You could see that her physical condition was something she had lived with for her entire life.

Her eyes were glued to me as I introduced myself. I showed her my identification and offered her a smile. I told her that I could see she probably wasn't feeling well and asked if she minded some conversation. She managed a smile with effort.

I chatted a bit about the weather and then asked her if she had any thoughts on the afterlife. She nodded. I asked her if she believed in God, Heaven...Hell. She nodded again. I asked if she would be going to Heaven. She managed to say, "...think so." When I asked her why she would be let in she squeaked out, "...good person." As she tried to talk she began to 'cough'. I use the term but it wasn't coughing in the usual sense. Since she had a tube in her neck, that's where the noise came from. I wasn't sure she was going to be able to continue, when up came a huge mucous plug. This whole process was loud enough to summon the nurse, who looked in but seemed non-plussed.

When all had calmed down I asked her if I could test her theory. She nodded, looking very concerned. We went through the Commandments, slowly as her throat rattled loudly.   Realizing that she had broken God's Law and that God would not allow her into Heaven, Tina grew sad.

"Tina, do you know what God did for you so that you wouldn't have to go to Hell?" She shook her head indicating No. "You have heard of Jesus, right?" She quickly nodded. "I'm glad you've heard of Him, but it takes more than a knowledge of Him to get into Heaven. After all, demons know Him, right?" I explained every sin she had ever committed had been recorded. Every sin she had ever committed must be paid for. Jesus voluntarily came to pay for every one of those sins. "That's really good news for you, isn't it?" Tina nodded and managed a smile. "But I'm going to be honest with you, it's not automatic. God requires that you do two things to claim that payment." Tina was listening closely.

The first thing you must do is repent: you found out today that you are on a road that will lead you to Hell. You can be sorry all the way there and even clean yourself up all the way there, but when you get to the end of the road, where will you be?" She looked right at me and mouthed the word, Hell. "Yes Tina, in order to change destinations you must change directions. Turn around Tina and fall on the mercy of the Judge! This is called Repenting. It's more than confessing your sin, it's confessing and turning away from your sin. Do you understand that?" She nodded. "OK, the second thing you have to do is take all of that trust you have in your own goodness and transfer it to Jesus, because He's the only One who can help you." I read John 14:6 to her. Tina nodded understanding to me, her eyes never left mine.

"What's stopping you from doing that now, Tina?" She shrugged and shook her head. "Do you want to do that?"

Tina vigorously nodded her head, Yes. "Tina, you know God will hear you pray." I asked her to let me know when she was done. She closed her eyes, I bowed my head and waited. A few moments later she opened her eyes and looked at me. "Did you talk to God?" I asked her. Tina smiled and nodded Yes. I prayed and thanked God for introducing me to Tina and helping her to understand this Good News.

Tina may not have long here, she may never have a nice morning walk on a beautiful beach, but I'm hoping to walk with her along the crystal sea.

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