2011-09-08 / General Stories


(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

Almost Made the Most Wanted List

Jim had just come on hospice and I was visiting him for the first time. He was in his daughter’s home, lying in a hospital bed in the front bedroom. “He’s liable to be feisty,” the daughter warned. “Enter at your own risk,” she continued, grinning.

The room was bright, sunlight streaming in. Jim was resting peacefully, a smile on his face. He sensed my presence and opened his eyes, giving me one of those and-just-who-are-you looks.

“Howdy, Jim. How you doin’ today?” I asked.

He gazed at me for a moment, smirked, and said, “Well, I almos’ made the Mos’ Wanted List once.” He closed his eyes and, still smirking, turned his head away.

“You did?” I said. “That’s great! Whose Most Wanted List was that?” He rolled his head back toward me, one eyebrow cocked, a questioning look on his face. “Well, I know you’re on Jesus’ Most Wanted List,” I continued. “You always have been.”

He broke out in a toothy smile. “I think we’re goin’ to get along jus’ fine,” he said.

I hope I’m on several Most Wanted Lists (the right kind, of course). To be wanted and needed is a wonderful thing.

And who’s on my Most Wanted List? There are many people who are very important to me. Do they know it? Do I show it? Do I tell them? We all need to feel wanted.

Thanks, Jim. I think we’re going to get along just fine too.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice and is interim Minister at First Baptist Church in Lexington

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