Jane Armstrong, the head nurse of ICU stepps into room number 4, “Mrs. Rose, you don’t have to stay here. The doctors don’t think he’ll come out of the coma.”
“If it’s okay with you I’ll stay until it’s all over; no one should ever die alone.”
“Well then, I won’t force you to leave, you are a volunteer. Do you want the door open?”
“No, close the door please.”
With the closing of the door Mrs. Rose looked at her watch: 11:27pm. The only sound she could hear was the rhythmic sound of air moving through the respirator.
11:33pm. Mrs. Rose’s mind begins to wander. Maybe I should call my husband and let him know I won’t be coming home tonight. No, he’ll be in bed already, after all, this is not the first night I’ve sat with a dying man. Mrs. Rose resumes staring into the dark.
12:18am. Mrs. Rose prays: “Dear Lord, I don’t know why you have placed me here with this man tonight. Lord, the police find so many homeless people near death and bring them here. Please don’t let this man die without you. Dear Jesus, no one in this hospital even knows his name, but you know all about him. Father, I know the doctors have said that he will never come out of the coma, but Lord, please revive him so I can talk to him about you. May you somehow be honored and glorified in this man’s death. Please use me as your servant. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.”
12:34am. Mrs. Rose’s eyes close. She is asleep.
1:05am. Mrs. Rose awakens just long enough to lite up the dial on her watch. She wonders why hospitals are so cold.
2:41am. Mrs. Rose stands and walks across the room and stairs out the window. She pulls a blanket out of the closet and sits back down in her chair.
2:43am. Another prayer: “Dear Lord, please somehow use me tonight...” The prayer goes unfinished as she falls back to sleep.
3:06am Mrs. Rose awakens to the footsteps of nurse Armstrong. The veteran nurse copies some numbers off the monitors onto her clipboard. Just before leaving the room she speaks; “Do you need anything Mrs. Rose?”
“No thank you. How is he doing?”
“There is no change in his condition. Mrs. Rose, you’re not getting enough sleep. You really should go home. I don’t understand why you would do this for someone you don’t even know.”
“I do this for the Lord.”
“The Lord? Will sitting with dying people get you to heaven?”
“No, no. I’m just hoping for the opportunity to share with this man how he can get to heaven.”
“But the doctors have said he’ll never come out of his coma.”
“I know, but you never know what the Lord may have in mind.”
“Well, whatever you say. By the way, we have some coffee at the nurses station. I can get you a cup.”
“No thank you. I think I’ll try to get some sleep.”
Nurse Armstrong closed the door behind her and Mrs. Rose soon was asleep in her chair.
4:44am. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Mrs. Rose catapults out of the chair the same instant that a team of nurses and a doctor charge into the room. Mrs. Rose stood anxiously praying in the corner of the room. The commotion comes to a stop. The young doctor breaks the silence, “Does anyone know the time?”
Mrs. Roses’ watch dial lights up, “4:51am.” is all she says.
“Time of death 4:51am” with that the physician walks out of the room. One by one the nurses follow him until Jane Armstrong and Mrs. Rose are the only two living persons left in the room.
Tears began to well up in nurse Armstrong’s eyes, “I’m up here every night. Some people get better, some like John Doe here don’t. This Lord you talk about must be important or you would of never done what you did tonight. Please share with me what you were going to share with him.”
“I most certainly will.”
5:20am. In the room with a dead body a new life begins.
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