At the end of 2000 we spent almost a whole month visiting with my parents and other family members. We were living quite far from them at the time, and it was wonderful to be able to see everyone, and to spend the Thanksgiving holiday together. My aunt called my mother a few days before Thanksgiving and invited her and my father to her home for Thanksgiving dinner. They usually didn’t spend the holiday together but I guess my aunt was concerned that my parents might be alone, so she kindly extended the invitation. A day or so after her conversation with my mother, my aunt was not feeling well. Her son asked her if she wanted to see a doctor, and my aunt said yes. Her son later told us that he knew something was very wrong because his mother never said yes when he asked her a question like that. He called an ambulance right away.
She never made it to the hospital. She died in the ambulance.
She died on my husband’s birthday. (Oddly enough, her husband, my uncle, died five years later, also on my husband’s birthday.) That date will always be etched in my mind. My aunt was planning Thanksgiving dinner, just a few days away, but she never lived to see it.
A short time after Thanksgiving, during this same extended visit, we received news that my uncle had a stroke and was in the hospital. We went to see him. Though the stroke left him unconscious, my husband whispered God’s word into his ear, and we prayed for him. When my uncle’s roommate heard us pray he said “I wish somebody would pray like that for me.” So we prayed for his roommate too, and the Lord graciously touched this sweet elderly man.
My uncle died the next day.
Isn’t it strange that on the night before my uncle died, we should be providentially led to his bedside, his deathbed, to pray for him and speak the word of God to him again. We stayed for the funeral, and I had an opportunity to share a little about my uncle’s life. More importantly I had the opportunity to share the Gospel.
When I was in that hospital room, on that cold dark night eight years ago, I noticed a small white paper on the floor. I picked it up. It was a bible tract. Here is what I wrote on it …
“Uncle Joe, December 3, 2000,
Brookdale Hospital, Brooklyn, New York”
The title of the tract . . . PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD