In hospice chaplaincy circles, stories abound of people who “knew” when they would die. Doctors, nurses, social workers, and other clinical professionals admit that they have NO idea when a terminal patient will, well, you know—terminate. Still, many dying patients DO seem to know, at least within a day or two. And, they often tell their families in advance. One I know recently told her family a week before her birthday that she wouldn’t be with them for that birthday. She died about a day beforehand. It seems God let's some folks know so they can prepare. I'm not sure why He does that--but I've seen it. The question then before us is, what WOULD you do if you knew you had just a few more da
I recently sat with a dying man to encourage and pray for him during his last hours on this earth. I’ll call him “Bill.” As he drifted in and out of consciousness, Bill would grab and squeeze my hand. At times he’d open his mouth and try to speak. We swabbed his mouth and lips with a wet sponge to help, but he couldn’t get the words out. He was experiencing some pain so I asked the nurse to give him another dose of morphine. He went to sleep and, while he came to and attempted to speak several more times, he died without being able to share with us what was on his mind. We soberly reflected and speculated about what he might of been trying to tell us. This side of heaven, we will never know.
We've all heard of oxymorons. You know, those self-contradictory phrases that make us smile. "Bittersweet," "clearly confused," and "jumbo shrimp" are examples. Today, I'd like to address one that shouldn't make us smile, even though it is perhaps the ultimate oxymoron: "Selfish Christian." We live in a increasingly sick, confused, lost and dying world--a world desperately in need of Jesus and what He taught. Yet, at the same time, we see Christians becoming more and more inwardly-focused. Our Churches are designed to facilitate our comfort physically and emotionally whether-or-not our programs have even the slightest impact on the hell-bound souls around us. Now I know some will "push-back