It was a cold, dreary Monday morning. Mariesha received a phone from her boss asking if she would be willing to spend 2 hours a week with a hospice patient so the primary care giver could leave the home for a while. Even though Mariesha was Certified Nurses Assistant, she had never done any work with a hospice patient before but she said yes.
Mariesha’s deep compassion for people in need was coupled with an even stronger faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior. God had definitely gifted her with a heart filled with grace to care for the handicapped, disabled, elderly, low functioning people who chose to still live in their own homes.
Mariesha knew that caring for this patient was not going to be like her other clients, while driving to Adeline’s home that first evening, she prayed that God would give her the strength to do this…knowing that Adeline was dying. When she arrived at Adeline’s home, she was met at the door by Adeline’s son, Stan. He gave her a brief idea of Adeline’s condition and walked her into the bedroom to introduce the two. Right away Mariesha felt at ease. Lying in bed was a frail 77-year-old woman, with several monitors and oxygen attached to her. Behind the oxygen mask she saw sweet smile on the dying woman’s face as Stan told his mother, ” Mom this is Mariesha, I’ll be back in a few hours.” Adeline was comfortable with her son leaving. He gave Mariesha his cell phone number in case she needed to reach him then left with a friend. Immediately, Mariesha asked, “What can I do to help you Adeline?” Adeline’s response was simple , “Could you sit here with me and we can just talk.” The two hours went by quickly. Adeline’s stories about her life and the ‘old days’ made Mariesha laugh. This frail great-grandmother seemed more alive than many of Mariesha’s other patients. The evening was a win-win-win. Stan enjoyed the time out with his friend, Adeline was content and whispered to Mariesha “See you next week”. Mariesha responded ” Yep, see ya next week”. As Mariesha drove home, she felt blessed by the time she’d spent with this kind, gentle woman whose days were coming to an end.
The following week when Mariesha arrived at Adeline’s home, Stan looked very weary. He said, “My mother is asleep and unresponsive”, then he hesitated, “you don’t have to stay with her tonight if it makes you uncomfortable.” “No, it’s ok…you look like you could use some time away, go out for a while and relax”. Stan told her she could sit and read, “There magazines on the table and mom has a wonderful collection of books on the shelf in her room”. Mariesha nodded and told him to enjoy his time away. She walked into Adeline’s bedroom quietly. She sat on the chair next to the bed and began to pray for Adeline. The only sound in the entire house was the oxygen compressor’s hum, so rather than grab a magazine or book, she began singing hymns to Adeline. Then she started talking about the Lord Jesus Christ and her love for Him. She quoted Bible verses about God’s gift of salvation. Then Mariesha felt moved to ask Adeline, “Adeline do you know Jesus as your Savior?” Mariesha was startled when Adeline made a sound, as if trying to speak. When Stan arrived home, she didn’t say anything to him about happened, not knowing how he would respond. On the way home she kept thinking, “What just happened?”
All week-long she thought back to that evening. It was Tuesday again. Claire, her boss, called early in the morning and asked if she would be willing to spend the night with Adeline. “Of course”, Mariesha replied. In the early afternoon as Mariesha was leaving a client’s apartment to go home and shower before going to spend the night with Adeline, her cell phone rang. It was Claire again. “Mariesha”, Claire paused, ” you don’t have to go to Adeline’s this evening, she passed away a few hours ago.”
Many times in Scripture we are reminded just how short life REALLY is. Every moment should count. As lovers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we are given the admonition to speak the Gospel message to “all the world”. Sometimes that world is closer to us than we think. I remember many years ago my Pastor gave a message on just what that meant. He said, ” Going into all the world means you start first in your own home, then neighbors, then co-workers, etc.” His closing remarks have stuck with me for 35 years. “It’s like throwing a rock in a pond, if every Christian would start at home first, then there would be ripple effect…”
Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 (NIV) A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
Psalm 103 :14-16 “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.”
The best things of life come out of wounding. Wheat is crushed before it becomes bread. Incense must be cast upon the fire before its odors are set free. The ground must be broken with the sharp plow before it is ready to receive the seed. It is the broken heart that pleases God. The sweetest joys in life are the fruits of sorrow. Human nature seems to need suffering to fit it for being a blessing to the world.
from: Streams in the Desert