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2012-10-25 digital edition

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2012-10-25 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

Pray I Would Be Fearless

Jose was in his late fifties, suffering from cancer. He’d gone from working in his garden to piloting a scooter to being bedbound in a span of six months.

“It’s like I got hit by a train,” he said one day. “I never saw it coming.”

Jose’s faith in God grew stronger during that half year. Stress tends to reveal what’s inside - what we really trust in. Jose decided, even in the face of pain and scuttled dreams, that God was good and that life had meaning far beyond what he could fathom.

One morning I got a call from Jose’s wife. “He’s asking for you,” she said. When I arrived I found him gazing at the yellow roses in full bloom outside his window. I sat down by his bed. He began to struggle to breathe. He grabbed my hand.

“Something’s changing,” he said. “I can feel it in here (pointing to his chest). Pray that I would be fearless.”

I did. And he was. Jose died peacefully with a smile on his face.

Jose’s life wasn’t pretty. Abandonment. Neglect. Abuse. Like a malignant octopus, fear spread its tentacles through his heart. He got used to being its prisoner. Until the last six months of his life. He learned to trust Jesus with his fear.

“Don’t be afraid,” is the most frequent command in the Bible. Why? Because we tend to be afraid. Fear will come. What would it look like to trust God in the midst of it?

Thanks, Jose.

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

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