Kathryn's Divine Appointment
During some of the time my mother had Alzheimer’s, she lived in an adult foster care home where I enjoyed meeting and visiting with her housemates. A total of five ladies lived in the home along with caretakers. Near the back door entrance where we usually entered the house was Kathryn's room. Hooked up to an oxygen tank twenty four hours a day, Kathryn spent much of her time in bed. Seeing people come and go past her door provided her meager socialization. At best her existence was tedious, often accompanied by labored breathing.
Since I went by her room on every visit to Mother's room, Kathryn and I often greeted each other and chatted a bit. To pass the time she relied on television, reading, and a rare guest. Telling visitors about the latest old movie she had watched helped distract her from the dreariness of her long days. I couldn’t help but think how wearisome and monotonous Kathryn’s life had become in her latter years.
As I prayed at home one morning, a thought I recognized as being from the Lord dropped into my mind, Why don't you tell Kathryn about Me? Each time I prayed after that, the same thought recurred.
“Give me the opportunity and I will,” I promised the Lord.
In a hurry one day, I dashed over to see Mother and stopped by for a quick hello to Kathryn. She began to tell me about her life as a younger woman. Progressing quickly to her present bleak situation, she ended with a statement that jarred me. “I wish I would just die,” she lamented. “Living has become so difficult.”
I know now that there are many elderly people who share this same sentiment, but that was my first time to hear such painful words. Realizing this was God's open door, I carefully moved the conversation to the Lord. I asked Kathryn if she knew for sure that she would go to heaven when she died. “I don't know," she sighed, eyes downcast with a look of despair. "I hope so, but I don't think I'm good enough.”
I shared some of God's plan, but feeling rushed I asked if I could come another day and share some Bible verses with her. Smiling, she said she'd be pleased to have me come back. Several weeks passed and I thought of Kathryn often. Times I thought I might visit with her, she either had company or her door was closed, meaning she was asleep. Still, I began to sense an urgency to go back and continue our conversation. I almost sensed the Lord planned to keep her alive just long enough for her to resolve some important spiritual issues in her life.
Finally the opportunity presented itself, and we moved right to conversation of the heart. “Kathryn, I’ve been thinking about the last time we visited and how you said you didn’t think you were good enough to go to heaven. I want you to know that I have some good news for you. Your access to heaven is not dependent on how good or bad you’ve been. God has a different and better plan to offer. Would you like to hear about it?”
With a look of curious eagerness, “Yes, I sure would like to hear.”
I then proceeded to read aloud Billy Graham's pamphlet, “Steps to Peace with God.” It’s a wonderful, short explanation of the salvation plan. It speaks of God’s love and how He has a wonderful plan for our lives. Because we sin, however, we are separated from Him. But God, in His plan for the redemption of mankind, sent Jesus to pay for our sin by dying on the cross. His resurrection being proof that His claims about Himself were true. Our part is to accept His finished work on the cross and to receive Him into our heart.
“Salvation,” I explained to Kathryn, “is not dependent on what we do but on whom Christ is and what He did for us.” “Kathryn, have you ever accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, Kathryn?” I asked. “Yes, many years ago,” she answered with a far away look in her eyes. “But I've never read the Bible. Please read more of the pamphlet to me,” she pleaded.
Recalling her earlier comments on lack of assurance of salvation, I read I John 5:11-13, “And the witness is this that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” “Kathryn isn’t it wonderful that we can know that we will go to heaven when we leave this earth?”
We prayed together, and I noticed a peaceful glow warmed her face as she thanked me and we said good-bye. I saw Kathryn briefly on one more occasion. She again expressed her gratitude to me for sharing the good news of Christ with her. “I've read the pamphlet over and over,” she exclaimed. “The verses have meant so much to me.”
Kathryn went to be with the Lord the next week. I was thankful that I had listened to God when He had nudged me to talk with her and share His love for her before she went home to meet Him. It was heart warming to know that her heart was settled and prepared for her home coming.
(This story appears in my book: "Mother Has Alzheimer's," available at Amazon.com)
Click Here http://www.motherhasalzheimers.weebly.com
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