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2012-04-05 digital edition

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2012-04-05 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

Pray That I Would Be Forgiven

Claude was a self-made man. He had been a loner all his life, living all over the world. He fought in Korea and Vietnam. He was a big, tough, no-nonsense kind of guy.

Now he was battling cancer. For once in his life there was nothing he could do.

Claude and I were sitting at his kitchen table one day. I asked what I could pray for.

He got quiet and thought for a moment. Tears came to his eyes. “Just pray that I would be forgiven for all the things I’ve done. . .cause I’ve done some things. . ,” he said.

Claude hung his head, and one of those tears stole down his cheek.

Forgiveness. We’ve all done some things. If we could, we’d take them back. Most of the time these things stay buried. But then someone says something, something happens, and the regrets of the past swim before our eyes once again.

Hurts, regrets, stupid words and actions. Resentments. I need to have the courage to seriously look at what’s buried deep inside me.

Will you join me? What’s back there? Do we dare let it go?

Claude worked through it. He asked God’s forgiveness, and he was slowly able to forgive himself. He’s at peace. Claude passed away yesterday.

“Just pray that I would be forgiven for all the things I’ve done.”

Glad you’re at peace, Claude. May we be as well.

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

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