Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crossing Over

Wayne's Family
On Friday (13-May-2011) I had the privilege of visiting an elderly woman (Betty) who was about to cross over into the great peaceful unknown. A friend from high school (Wayne) has a daughter (Bethany) who contacted my wife (TammyM) and asked that I come and pray for her grandmother (Wayne's mother-in-law) as she was "going downhill" and wasn't expected to live much longer. I arrived at the NHC nursing home after work in the evening. When I approached the room, the door was ajar and I could hear the family talking softly. I opened the door and met Wayne's wife (Glenda) and their two daughters (Bethany & Lorrie); Wayne was on his way. They all thanked me for coming, although I wasn't really sure why, because I didn't know what they wanted me for. I sat with them a while and asked about Glenda's mother (Betty) who was lying in the bed semi-conscious with Bethany & Lorrie sitting beside her. Bethany was holding her hand. Betty had lived at NHC for a few years due to her deteriorating mental state. Wayne arrived. I asked them all what they wanted for Betty and they all agreed they wanted her to peacefully pass over to her real home, heaven. I did not feel up to what was happening, but I knew Jesus is always ready. I told them about my cousin, Rosemary, who, several years ago was in a terminal illness state. 

Rosemary's Story
Rosemary had had a life full of pain and sorrow and was then dying of lung cancer. Before she got really bad off she had called my mom (Janice) and asked to see me. I went to her home and she was already in the state of not being able so speak. I took her hand and asked her what she needed. She couldn't answer but just looked at me and squeezed my hand. I got the feeling it was about her eternal salvation, so I asked, "Rosemary, do you want to be assured of your salvation?" She immediately smiled, shook her head "yes" and squeezed harder. I led her in a prayer to Jesus. She cried and hugged my neck. A few days later she was in the hospital not expected to live much longer. She had suffered terribly. She had been unconscious for several days when I got to her in the hospital. There were a dozen or so family members around her bed. I asked the Lord to let me have some time alone with Rosemary and suddenly, even before I got to say "Amen" to the prayer, every single person in her room left! I was in shock. The Living God had heard me and inspired them all to leave immediately. I imagined an angel whispering in their ears that they needed to get some food in the cafeteria. I was greatly humbled. I walked over to Rosemary and bent down to her face and asked, "Rosemary, do you want to be healed? Or do you want to go home?" Suddenly her eyes opened and she looked at me and smiled. At that very moment a verse rose in my heart very loudly, "Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints" (Psalm 116:15) and I knew it was the Lord speaking and that Rosemary wanted to go home. She closed her eyes. I read healing scriptures to her and prayed, "Father, let Rosemary's homegoing be glorious and without pain." As I prayed this, her family had started coming back into the room. Two days later, after resting peacefully since the prayer, Rosemary sat up in bed, smiled, looked around the room at her suddenly hushed family, spoke Jesus' name and went home without any suffering. Glorious indeed!

Betty's Story
This story greatly moved Glenda and the family I was now with. I told them of the Lord's great love for Betty (I was feeling it very strongly at the moment) and that it would be the same with Betty. She would go very peacefully and be received into Jesus' arms. I had them all gather around, Glenda, Wayne, their two daughters, Bethany and Lorrie. We all held hands with Betty completing the circle. We worshiped Father & Jesus and thanked the Spirit for His presence. Then I just prayed a similar prayer, "Lord, let Betty's homecoming be glorious and without pain and suffering." A very strong presence of the Lord made itself known in the room. Tears flowed. We all felt His love filling us. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Very humbling and sweet. Two days later, Betty simply fell asleep and crossed over peacefully with her family at her side holding her hands.

The day of her funeral I had been working out in the yard and was very dirty and sweaty, but my wife really wanted to go by and pay her respects. We drove by, but I was so dirty I didn't want to go in. My wife went in and visited and then came out crying. She said that Glenda said for me to get in there they needed to see me and didn't care I was a mess. So I did. Glenda and Wayne hugged me and thanked me for visiting when I did and told me about the way Betty passed away. It meant a lot to them and me. Again, I did not feel up to their gratitude nor the task to begin with. Humbled is all I can say, greatly humbled.

Such beauty, such passion, such gratitude, such graciousness, such kindness... such is our Lord Jesus.

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