February 4, 2014
Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Honor and enjoy your Creator while you are still young, before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes.”
Life is short. I know that. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. I know that, too. But somehow in the busyness of every day, I tend to forget – I was created for a purpose…
For me, it was an ordinary Monday morning. I was caught up in my daily adventure of packing lunchboxes, tying shoes and rushing kids out the door for school. In my bubble, the world was small. Then I walked into work. Suddenly, my bubble burst and the world enlarged around me. My adventure became much more important.
I met Mr. Johnson, a handsome man with crystal blue eyes, at the hospital just days before Christmas. In a short amount of time, I learned a lot about him. As far as the world is concerned, he was a successful man. He had been married to the same woman for many years, had an expanding family and a respectable career. To the natural eye, he looked and sounded healthy. But with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, I had a vague knowing that despite how things looked on the outside, his days were numbered.
It’s amazing the things we assume looking at the outside of a person. But, when we get to the end of our life, it is what’s on inside that truly matters. This my soul knows very well. So rather than focus on the outside, that December afternoon I chose to go deeper. To probe into the heart of this man.
“Did Mr. Johnson know the one thing that matters?”
As I shared the love of Christ with him, he simply shrugged his shoulders without any outward acknowledgement of the things I said. I left the room wondering, “Could this man possibly be a Christian? Had my words had any influence?”
Ten minutes later, those words were lost. For me, anyway. Mr. Johnson went home. And in the hustle and bustle of life, I never gave the conversation another thought.
Until Friday afternoon, that is. As I walked into a different room at the same hospital, there staring back at me were those same crystal blue eyes. Only this time, there was little life left in them.
“Hello.” Mr. Johnson, I said. “Do you remember me?” It took all the strength he had for the smooth talking gentleman I met earlier that month to let out a quiet, “Yes.”
For the first time in three weeks, my mind went back to the day we met and the uncertainty of our conversation. Once again, I found myself talking to him about his relationship with Christ. This time, however, there was a deeper sense of urgency. When I asked him if he was a Christian, he shrugged his shoulders in the same fashion. Only this time, he added, “Yes… I guess.”
“Yes. I guess?”… What did that mean?
Come to find out – Mr. Johnson had asked Christ to be His Savior, but never truly lived his life for Him. Now, as his days were winding down, he seemed to be questioning the life he lived and the uncertainty of his future.
So. One last time. I did my best to help this man know that he was loved, accepted, and forgiven by the Savior of the world. Then I left the room once again.
I had done my part.
Christ did His 2014 years ago.
The rest… was up to Mr. Johnson.
When I arrived at work Monday morning, I learned that our conversation was one of his last. Two days after our conversation, Mr. Johnson’s adventure came to an end.
Selah. (That means ‘pause and reflect on that’.)