Flipping the chart, Nurse Shannon noticed the words, “No Resuscitation” stated boldly at the top. Her eyes peered over the machines that were hooked up to Miss Lily-Mae Moore. Beep, pause, beep, pause, the heart monitor let you know her breathing was laborious as her body prepared to die. Walking over to the side of her bed, Nurse Shannon fluffed her covers and tucked her clean sheets in a little tighter; she picked up her hand and held it as she said a prayer. Then she leaned over closer to Miss Lily-Mae, and whispered… “When you get to heaven, Miss Lily-Mae, tell my mom I love her,” and with a squeeze of her hand she left the room.
Lily-Mae lay there pondering. She knew she was dying and was excited to get on with it. She couldn’t talk and everyone thought she couldn’t hear what they said . . . but she heard every word. That Ms. Shannon was such a sweet nurse, so of course, Lily-Mae would look up her mother . . . she wondered however, if there was a directory in Heaven? Oh well, plenty of friends already up there to help her out
As she was breathing slowly, God brought a vision to her mind. It was the brown shoes that she had seen many times in her life. They were always beside her bed when she was in deep sadness. She’d had a blessed life but one spotted with many trials . . . she and her husband called them ‘knee-busters’ as they would take’em to their knees-- then God would slowly bring them back up. Those brown shoes always gave her comfort . . .
Like the time, years ago, she couldn’t seem to carry a baby to full-term. She lost three daughters in a row. Lily-Mae climbed into her bed after the third loss and grieved for days . . . her chest burned from the pain of sobbing. In the midst of her grief she turned on her side and saw a pair of brown shoes, a little dirty, just sitting there by her bed . . . for some reason, the shoes gave her comfort.
Then there was the time, God gave her a miracle! A son . . . a wonderful, God-fearing, dearly loved son who gave them so many happy years before God took him home. A tree fell on his car during a snow storm taking him instantly. Lily-Mae went back to bed and again during her despair she saw the same pair of brown shoes . . . only this time, they were muddy on the soles and the sides . . . and once again, they strangely gave her comfort
A few more years past, and many more ‘knee-busters’ came testing her faith. Then one day Lily-Mae’s house burnt slap-down to the ground. All her pictures were gone of her beloved son, even the Bible that she had written his birth and his death in . . . had perished. She was plum weary of life, of carrying on, and did not think she could live another day. But, she and her husband rebuilt and when they moved back in she went to bed. She grieved again for her losses . . . she wept for her son, for her daughters, for her home. And in the midst of her tears she saw the same brown shoes . . . next to her bed, covered up to the ankles with mud caked in all the crevices. Lily-Mae fell asleep comforted . . .
Her last breaths were much labored when she heard her Father call her name . .
“Lily-Mae, the brown shoes belonged to me, each time you grieved I walked to you bringing comfort. At first my shoes became a little dirty but as your sadness grew I became mired deeper in the mud . . . as I pulled you out, my shoes sunk further down . . . weighted by your grief and sadness.”
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Beep . . . pause, pause, pause . . . silence. Nurse Shannon ran back in and smiled good-bye to Lily-Mae. As she lifted the covers to un-hook her tubes, Nurse Shannon stammered in surprise . . .
“Why, I wonder how Miss Lily-Mae got so much dirt in her bed?”
Matthew 11:28 KJV
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