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God Knows  

“It seemed like an ordinary day at first,” said my friend Jack. “Then we got the call.”

“What call?” I asked, knowing a story was brewing.

“A call to visit Eddie and his family—immediately.”

“Why the rush?”

"Hospice had moved in, and his kidneys were shutting down after a bout with cancer."

“Did you know Eddie well?”

“Well enough to know he didn’t seem to know Jesus.  Eddie was bony and drugged.  He slept mostly, while his two boys took turns stroking his arms or shoulder. Occasionally, they were able to rouse Eddie to share a quick memory or funny story, which he acknowledged with a grunt or nod.  One of the boys tried to show him phone pictures of some recent house remodeling, and Eddie repeatedly reached for the phone, but lacked the strength to hold it.”

“Hard to watch that.  So Jack, were you able to speak with Eddie at all?”

"Briefly. His wife gathered the boys around Eddie's bed and asked me to pray.”

“How do you pray for a guy like that?”

“Not sure.  So I paused and asked God. Then I prayed God’s comfort on Eddie and explained that if he wanted to know he was going to heaven, he could.  I quoted Romans 10:9, ‘If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.'  I said, 'Eddie if you want to be saved, squeeze my hand at the name of Jesus.  I quoted the verse, and he gave my hand a good squeeze."

“Think he meant it, Jack?”

Jack shrugged.  “God knows.  We took a quick iPad photo of Eddie with his wife and two boys—and then left so another friend could have some time.  Three hours later, he was dead.”

“Jack!  I.....”

He looked away, hoping I wouldn't see the tear coursing down his cheek.  Then I had to wipe something in my eye.

“He squeezed my hand,” Jack whispered.

God knows.

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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