One day, as I left my house to go shopping, I noticed one of my elderly neighbors sitting on his stoop. My husband and I had distributed much gospel literature in our neighborhood, but had not yet witnessed to this neighbor. As I came out of my house, and saw my neighbor, I had a strong prompting to share the gospel with him. Instead of obeying the prompting, I said a quick hello and went on my way. I don’t know why I did that. I may have been feeling shy, or maybe a bit intimidated, I’m not sure. This neighbor was someone who we would often greet in passing, but we really didn’t know him very well. He wasn’t too friendly, but I felt compassion for him and had been praying for his salvation.
A short time after that happened, I had a dream …
I dreamt that this same neighbor was in the hospital. I knew that I hadn’t shared the gospel with him, and that I needed to go to the hospital and do that. There was an urgency, as if this would be the last opportunity to do so. Also, in the dream, he was looking at our gospel tracts with a happy and approving expression on his face. That’s pretty much how the dream went.
When I woke up, I wondered a moment about this strange dream. But it was the day of my sister-in-law’s wedding so I was busy, and before long I completely forgot about it. Later in the day, my husband went to get his brother at the bus station. His brother lived out of town and had come in for the wedding. As they came into the house, my husband said he just learned that one of our neighbors was seriously ill, and in the hospital. The neighbor had cancer, and was having emergency surgery that very day. It was the same neighbor that I had dreamt about the night before.
I wanted to drop everything and run to the hospital to witness and pray for this man. I thought to myself, how am I going to do that. I told my husband about the dream, and he responded by saying that we needed to go to the hospital right away. I was so relieved. A friend was also visiting that day, so before we left we all prayed together. We asked the Lord to give us time alone with our neighbor, so that we could share the gospel with him without hindrance.
When we got to the hospital, we couldn’t locate the room he was in. This was because the transition from the recovery room, to his hospital room, was very recent. We waited, and when we finally found ourselves in his room, he was sound asleep. We saw someone’s coat and book, apparently the belongings of a visitor who had gone out for a moment. So there we were, in the room with our neighbor who had just come out of surgery. He was sound asleep. My husband and I looked at each other and started to wonder if we should even be there. We wondered if he would be angry if he woke up and saw us there. We didn’t think we should wake him up, we didn’t know what to do. Just then a cheery nurse walked in the room and said to her patient, wake up, you have company. With that our neighbor woke up and looked at us. Then he said “God sent you here.” We were shocked! We thought so, and we were sure glad he thought so too.
While we were there, for that short visit, we shared the gospel. We told him he needed to be born again. He told us something about “St. Lucy” helping him. We told him that “St. Lucy” couldn’t help him, only Jesus could, and that he needed to trust only Jesus, no one else. He was willing to pray with us, so we prayed with him. He cried and thanked us for coming. He was very grateful. We went back home and got ready for the wedding.
Our neighbor, Mr. D., went home to recuperate, but we never had the opportunity to see him again after that hospital visit. A few months later, he died from his illness.
Not every dream is from the Lord, probably most aren’t. I do believe this dream was of God. (It came to pass, and it did not in any way contradict the Bible, Deuteronomy chapters 13 & 18). Our neighbor heard the gospel, and was happy to hear it. When we shared the gospel with him he did not resist, but listened and prayed with tears. This is just one of many a death bed ministry that the Lord has called us to, and it is always a blessing, and a wonder, to be used by the Lord in such a way.