“COME SEE ME OFF…”
Shriveled and diminutive, her limbs thin and spindly, she presented a pathetic picture. But Thelma was in complete control of her faculties. Her hands were gnarled, deformed and arthritic, her eyes dim with cataracts, but Thelma’s spirit was sharp and clear. She could remember all her many grandchildren and tell you about what each of them were up to now. Given a chance, (now these were far and few indeed), she would fondly and vividly describe her childhood days. All she needed was an enthusiastic listener!
There was one thing, and one thing alone that terrified Thelma. That was the fear of death, her own death. As she kept hearing about how each of her brothers and sisters died, she became petrified pf her own impending death. Days ago she heard of the death of Mary, her niece who was younger than her. “Will I be the next to go? “ she wondered aloud. Exasperated with her, her son Victor replied, “Perhaps. Why don’t you get ready for it?”
Thelma’s response was sharp. As sharp as her mind was. : Don’t ever dare to tell me such things.” Victor, already in his fifties and always at her beck and call, didn’t know what to say. He held her hand and prayed quietly that she would soon get to accept the inevitable, peacefully.
* * * * * * *
“Listen Victor,” prodded Thelma, “someone’s at the door. Go and see.” Victor lumbered to the door and found his cousin John there, come to visit with Thelma. He cornered John quietly and told him about the fear of death, which plagued Thelma.
“Good Morning Aunty” greeted John, “ You are the only one of the twelve children of your parents to be still alive and well. What a blessed lady are you!”
“So nice to see you John. How is your wife Linda? Your boys must have grown up now. How are they?” cackled Thelma. “They’re doing well Aunty. How are you?”
“Oh I am fine but for these pains and problems, as always.” Sighed Thelma.
Coming to the point immediately, John ventured, “Why are you afraid to face death Aunty?” “I don’t know what will happen to me John. I fear it will be a painful process and I don’t know where I will land up. How then can I not be afraid of death?” she cried.
“ Let me ask you one thing Aunty,” countered John, “ Did you confess your sins, repent and accept the Lord Jesus Christ?”
“Yes I did it son. But…” John butted in, “Do you believe that The Bible is the Word of God?” “Of course I do son, “ whispered Thelma. “You will be better off after your death then, than you are now. Death is just a passage or a door through which we all need to pass. One day or other. But if we are saved, as you are, we will enter into the presence of Our Lord! No more pains and tears.” exulted John.
“Really, what about my poor deformed body?” asked Thelma. “You will have a transformed, immortal body with which you will be praising God. And that body will never die as you will have eternal life.” Countered John.
Thelma’s eyes glittered. “Is it really true?” she asked tentatively. “Of course Aunty, “ replied John as he glanced meaningfully at Victor, “the Bible is very clear about all this.”
“Thank you son for opening my eyes. Now all I wish for is that the Lord would hasten up and take me to Himself.” Thelma murmured.
“Do not worry Aunty. In the right time and in the right way the Lord will take you into to heaven. Meanwhile, you need to continue to bless us with your presence here on earth!” said John.
Her eyes twinkled as she responded, “ Be sure to come and see me off when I set out on the journey to the Lord.”
* * * * * * *
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