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2012-05-24 digital edition

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2012-05-24 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

Why Shouldn’t Today be the Day?

Louellen is as regular as clockwork. She’s been coming to my Bible Study at her assisted living facility for more than two years. She’s there right on time, Bible open, beaming.

“Good morning, Gary. It’s so good to see you today,” she’ll say, reaching up to hug me from her wheelchair. “I just love you,” she’ll continue, often planting a kiss on my cheek.

During our study, Louellen will frequently tilt her head back, and break out in a huge grin. One day I asked her what she was thinking about.

“Several times a day this wonderful thought crosses my mind,” she said. “Why shouldn’t today be the day I meet my Maker?’ Oh Gary, I just can’t wait.”

She reminded me of a little kid waiting for a spectacular birthday party. Wonder. Anticipation. Giddy excitement.

A tremendous delight has invaded Louellen’s heart. She lives life with unbridled joy. Her joy is contagious. So is her longing.

Louellen reminds me of a Bible verse: “This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind, and straining forward to what lies ahead. . .” She has left guilt, shame, anger, and fear far behind. She glances in the rearview mirror, but gazes steadily through the windshield. She knows heaven is straight ahead.

Could it be that this is what (and who) we all long for? Could all our hopes and dreams really be a hunger to meet and be with the One who made us?

“I just can’t wait. It might be today!”

Thanks, Louellen.

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

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