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The Lady in the Hospital Bed

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The gnarled hand of a lady in a hospital bed gently touched the photograph of the young brown eyed girl. She slowly smiled as those same brown eyes filled with emotion. So many years ago. So much life lived. She looked down at herself as a child sandwiched in the middle with her siblings in front of a brick fireplace in their Christmas best. The old lady noticed with fresh eyes how genuine their smiles were.

She turned the page of the scrapbook her family had brought her with much difficulty. The faded pictures brought memories back to life. Written on one page was Psalms 34:3-5. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered in shame.

The tears fell then. The verse had pricked her heart with how true they rang.

A tear fell and barely missed her wedding picture. A much younger version of herself and her husband smiled up from the worn page. She wore white and him black.“They didn’t know what was ahead.”’ She chuckled. She remembered the nights of asking God if he was the one. She remembered the tears of a possible good bye and then the tears of happiness as she knew God brought her path back to him. Decades of happiness followed.

On the next page was her holding their first little boy. For that child she had prayed. “For all her children she had prayed” she thought as she ran her fingers gentle over the faces of all four of her boys. She thought of the time when she begged the Lord for another child when it looked like there might not be. He had answered times three. One little boy joined her family after another. The sleepless nights, the busy days of going from one task to another were all worth it. So much joy came from her children.

She turned to another page. An image of her mother with her trademark smile. She had often been told that she resembled her. Oh, how she loved hearing that. A pain still pierced her heart when she saw pictures of the sweet woman. Her mother’s sudden death had hurt her worse then anything else had. When faced with that big trial she had done exactly what her mother had taught her to do. Oh, how she cried out to Him to coupe with the grief. Night after night found her with her Bible seeking God’s purpose in this. He had shown her a few pieces but she knew that she wouldn’t see the full meaning until she was tucked safely in heaven with her mother and Jesus.

The next photograph was her family in front of their blue home. Joy filled her at the sight. The house had been a clear answer to many months praying. The dwelling though just material had quickly become a home and housed her precious family against the worst winter winds. It had become a haven in a chaotic world. So many birthdays, Christmas’, and everyday moments had been lived out there. It was a special place that God had given them.

She sat back on the bed exhausted now from her small task. She rested her gray haired head and closed her eyes. Her life of prayer and conversations with Jesus came easy to her. It hadn’t always been this way but the ups and downs of life had her conversing with her maker as naturally as breathing now.

The lady in the bed knew that her time was near. She could feel it in her bones. Her time on earth would be drawing to an end but she knew and believed the promises that were awaiting her.

Two others were in the room. Some called them Angels of the Lord or His Messengers. One wiser in his tasks then the other. “How do you know when it’s time?” The younger whispered to the older.
“You will know when their faces change. They will start to illuminate Him and they will shine. That is when you know it is time.”
The younger studied the subject more closely. A stirring of excitement was felt in the air. The angel quickly looked to his teacher in an unspoken question.
The older smiled. “Yes. Do you see how brightly her face now shines? Go and fetch her. He is waiting to welcome her home.”

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