Monday and Friday are days I leave totally clear to study and prepare for Sunday. So there I was immersed in jottings, books and commentaries piled high on the table when the phone rang. As usual I had no idea of who it would be or what they would want when I picked up the receiver.
The voice on the phone sounded weak and frail. He told me his name and then commented that he had occasionally attended a church I pastored many years ago.
The present pastor of the church apparently would not visit someone who was not a member of the church so he did not have a minister to call on.
He said what many people do when starting to tell their story, “I don’t know where to begin.” Then he went on, “Basically I’m dying. The chemo didn’t work. The cancer has spread everywhere. I’m kinda left to die and it’s hard to do. Can you come and say a prayer over me?”
My heart went out to him as I heard the earnest, pleading tone in his voice. I assured him that I would come and a time was set for me to go to his modest place of residence which basically consisted of one room and a shared washroom in the basement of an old house. It was not that far from my home and I knew the district fairly well.
When I entered his room he was in a hospital bed with an IV hooked up to his left arm. He seemed genuinely glad to see me and we got into a serious conversation immediately.
He had been raised in a Christian home and knew the Gospel well. However, he lacked assurance of his salvation and was anxious to get right with God before he died.
We discussed some things in 1 John and he seemed to gain some insight into his own standing before God. I asked him to read 1 John during the next week and I would come back to visit again.
I then offered a prayer for him that the Lord would enlighten him and draw him to Himself.
Next week I went back and it was wonderful to see how the study of God’s Word had helped him. It was soon evident that he was a Christian and he expressed his thanks for our help.
During that visit his mother came and I met her. She indicated they were taking her son home to a town in western Ontario where they could be close to him and visit him in hospital. He was not married, so his parents were his primary care givers during his final days.
I never saw the young man again. Only two visits, but what a wonderful feeling to know that we had ministered comfort to one who was so needy.
Now he is in glory and enjoying the immediate presence of Christ and is free from all the suffering and sorrow that he had experienced in this life.