I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7,8
When you spend any amount of time in a rest home, you get to know some of the residents. You walk the halls and notice things, people. You are grabbed by the desperation that seems to live and breathe there…..Many times the vacant stares we are greeted with make us want to dash out the door and take a deep breath of the fresh air of the living. We recoil at the bleakness of it all and none of us wants to think about the possibility of going there someday. I call it God’s waiting room.
It was on such a walk through the halls, that Elaine met Louis. He was sitting in the doorway of his room reading His Bible. It was the Bible she noticed first. She greeted him in the engaging way she has…..she is a real people person. He brightly said, “The book of Numbers!” She noticed his sweet spirit and the light in his eyes…..the gentleness in his soul. There was hope there. He said, “I read this Book everyday.” She told him how wonderful that was. His walls were adorned with Scripture verses, pictures and books. Louis was still very much in the land of the living.
She made a habit of looking for Louis every time she went in. One day she wanted to introduce me to him, but he was out. His family had come and taken him visiting. Louis told her that he came from a long line of Preachers. His Grandfather, his Dad and he were all Pastors, and so were both of Louis sons!
One day while they were having church in the main hall, we spied Louis sitting in back……his well worn Bible open on his lap.
After being gone for awhile, we went back looking for Louis but he was nowhere to be found. The nurse said that about 2 weeks before, he had died peacefully in his sleep…… Louis is with Jesus now. We rejoiced for him. He knew where his strength lay and where his hope rested. His happiness and joy didn’t depend on his circumstances. Instead of spending time wishing he were someone else, he communed with Jesus every single day in that rest home. Louis, like Mary, chose the better portion. He spent his days listening to voice of Hope.
So much of it is about choice, isn’t it? Life and death. Some have continued to choose life and some have given up and closed themselves off to it.
Louis chose life.
“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.” Deuteronomy 30:15
Each day brings forth the same choice, life and death. To dwell on all the riches of God’s blessings, or to dwell on everything we don’t have or feel cheated out of. To be grateful or miserable. Really, we are all in God’s waiting room, whether we know it or not. One small step away from eternity.
We will miss seeing Louis there reading his Bible. It was an encouragement to me, just to know he was reading those words of life, still trusting in His savior. But now when I think of Louis, I smile…..knowing that the waiting for Louis is over. He is basking in Godlight.
With every Monday that rolls around, I am amazed that I still have so much to thank Him for:
The best night’s sleep I have had in awhile…..fresh okra from the garden…..people who speak life to me everyday….hope for the coming cool weather….piles of books that speak encouragement…..shelter from the unbearable heat outside….the end of another week’s work…..time spent just hanging out, laughing, talking with my best friend who is so grateful for me, and tells me so often…..a beautiful awe-inspiring sky coming home from work…..being able to buy special things to send to my family, along with my love. #701-712