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Friday, January 11, 2008

Promise

Worn and old but full of promise


We are in grief. Neil’s 92 year old Aunt Maine, us at her side, stopped breathing life giving air, Wednesday January 9 at 5:30 pm and passed to the other side.

We headed back to the city from the island on Tuesday morning and spent time with her until the end. I grabbed an American Bible Society “Promises of God” booklet and read portions of scripture from it to her. She remained attentive with eyes opened whenever we spoke.
Whenever her breathing became labored, I prayed out loud for God to give her peace and a sense of His Holy presence and that she would have no fear. I held her hand and she held mine and the labored breathing stopped and she breathed more peacefully. I felt it a privilege to be there as I was not able to be there to the end with my mother.

Neil and I took turns sitting by her side and talking to her and just sitting quietly. When she was attentive to Neil or resting, I took the elevator to her apartment two floors up to clear out her room as we knew she would no longer return. and others were waiting for it. While cleaning out drawers and shelves, I found a small well used book as well as some notes with scripture verses, the same that I had read earlier, confirmation that we were on the right track. I also found cards with questions on them. Just then Neil came in to the room wondering what he might read to her. I said to him, “There is no coincidence that I found these notes in the desk drawer. Take these and answer them for her.” On two 3X5 cards she had written, “What does it mean to be born again?” and “What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?” We both felt a clear directive from the Holy Spirit to give her the answers for which she had been waiting and encouragement for us that she was and would continue to be in His hands. She attentively listened to Neil’s answers and seemed content and peaceful when I returned. I brought her old small frail well used book, much like herself, Ave Maria, from her room. Again, she turned her head toward me and opened her eyes and I read from the most worn pages “Morning Prayers.”
“O my God, my only good, the Author of my being and my last end, I give Thee my heart. Praise, honor, and glory be to Thee forever. Amen.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I will raise myself up from this bed of sleep, to adore my God, and to labor for the salvation of my soul. Oh, may I rise on the last day unto life everlasting. ...Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts!" I ended by saying, "You will soon be with your Lord Jesus." Within an hour she was praising God on the other side and we were grieving only because we will miss her.
Hebrews 9:23-25; 10:19-23

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