Grieving with Hope

Recently the Lord taught me a new lesson on how to live out the Scripture, “Mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15.

After one of our small group Bible studies, a dear saint with failing health came up to me, held both my hands, looked directly into my eyes through her misty ones, and said, “When you get to heaven find my husband, John. He loved words, especially the Word of God, as you do. You remind me of him.”

“How long has there been an empty chair at your table?”

“It seems like forever. Six years. He’d have gotten you in a corner and picked your brain.
You’re so full of the Spirit you bubble over.”

Still gripping my hands, Lynn told me that she doesn’t hear the lessons as clearly as she used to. I volunteered to send her additional review material. She asked if I’d send copies of our studies so she can share them with her daughter and a friend.

She lifted herself onto her tiptoes, hugged me and said,“God sent you here just for me.”

As she left, I silently cried out,“Lord, teach me to love with passion as Lynn does.” I determined to add her to my prayer list, to try to call her weekly, and send her encouraging notes.

“Dear Father of all comfort, I praise you for the renewal to ‘grieve with those who grieve.’ She’s lonely, hurting, and desperately grieving from the loss of her beloved John. You’ve reassured me that ‘You are familiar with all our ways’ and your holy Presence is a present help’”.

Please teach Lynn, my wife, and all of us who know you how to wait patiently for the reality of ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. No more death, no more mourning or crying for the old life has passed away’. Amen.” Rev 21:4

A Wheelchair and a Story Book

A finger pointed at me and a voice yelled, “You didn’t bring me my Bible!”

As I was leaving the nursing home, a motorized wheelchair spun around in front of me, blocking the exit. Thinking the man had lost control of it, I stepped around him, but he popped a wheelie and ended up in front of me again.

“You didn’t bring me the Bible you promised almost two months ago!”

“I”m sorry. You must have me confused with someone else.  What’s your name?”

“Jerry. Now, where’s my Bible?”

“I’ll gladly get you a Bible, Jerry” and extended my hand. “I’m Leon.”

I purchased a Bible, had his name engraved on it and took it to him. He was in bed, his head covered with a blanket. “Jerry, I’ve got your Bible.” He threw back the covers, grabbed it, and clutched it, “My own Bible.”

“Jerry, why did you want a Bible?”

“I like the stories in it?”

“Well, then you’re a Christian?”

“Oh, no. I just like the stories.”

The next two weeks, we read and discussed the flood (his favorite) and Jonah. The third week we studied John 3. The fourth week, I asked him if he wanted to personally know the Author of all his beloved stories?

“Yes, I want to know ’im just like you do.”

“Whoever,” and that means you, Jerry, “believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  He grasped my hand and he prayed simply that Jesus would forgive his sins.

“So now I’m a Christian!”

“Yes, you’re born again.” From then on Jerry started introducing me as ‘his Reverend.’

Three weeks later, the Lord took him home from stomach complications.

Now Jerry is sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing more stories he loves from the Author, the greatest Story Teller of all times.

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