All too often we come to the retirement home where we teach bible studies every Monday and learn that another old friend has been transferred to the next level of higher care, a nursing home. We never let that be the end of our contact with these dear ones who have studied God's Word with us for several years. And so today I went to visit one of the women in a nursing home. Although it was an exceptionally warm spring day here, I found her wrapped in three wool blankets, looking very frail, lost in sleep, with a slight smile on her face. She was one who was always joyful, always positive, no matter how difficult her situation. She knows the Lord intimately and it shows!
I gently stroked her arm and greeted her. Her eyelids fluttered open and a huge grin now spread across her face. "Kelly, how good to see you!" she exclaimed. I reached in to hug her and as she began to speak to me, I knew I was going to have to curl myself up right next to her in her bed so that I could hear her voice, almost a whisper. She told me, "It takes so much strength to talk." But then she began to tell me about her recent visits with Jesus. "He has been speaking to me and He told me, 'I can't tell you when, but you will be with Me soon.' Her face erupted in light, "Then the angels encircled me, they were all around me!" She paused, considering her words, and then said to me, "I don't understand why Christians have so much trouble talking about these things." I knew she was referring to death. I've visited so many people close to death, and know that they really do need to talk about it, but most people won't go there. So I agreed with her. "Why should believers not want to talk about their home-going? It is so glorious even to think about!" She nodded and smiled and then drew me in a little closer and whispered to me, "Do you remember that book of the Torah you got for me a couple of years ago?" Well, I've asked my son to give that back to you when I am gone. I loved it so much because it is written in English and in the words GOD SPOKE."
Truly, her words sent shivers up my spine! I knew she meant the Hebrew language, but it touched me so much the way she put it: "the words God spoke!" What revelation this dear friend had hiding in her 90-something-year-old heart. I told her that I never forget her and pray for her often. She squeezed my hand and said, "I will never forget you either and I will be praying for you from Heaven."
I returned to my car and wept. I had had a strong urging of the Spirit to visit her today and I'm so very glad I did not ignore it. I'm pretty sure I may not see her again in this earthly life. But her state of total shalom and quiet joy was a great inspiration to me. She is one who knows the words God spoke from a lifetime of listening!
Kelly Ferrari Mills