2013-01-03 / Church


(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)
Gary Roe is Minister at First Baptist Church in Lexington and the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice

Patsy was a resilient lady. She grew up in a volatile, alcoholic household. Her father was violent and couldn’t hold down a job. Her mom spent days in her room, weeping and depressed. Her siblings were outof control.

Patsy dreamed about things being different.

“I retreated into my imagination,” she said. “There I had a protector, a knight who was invincible. I just wanted to feel safe.”

Patsy bore her cancer courageously. One day I walked in to her room to find her gazing at the ceiling with a huge grin on her face.

“Isn’t it a wonderful day?” she said.

“What makes it wonderful, Patsy?” I asked.

“My knight!” she answered. “I suddenly realized he’s real. He’s always been real.” She leaned forward and whispered, “That means I’m safe. And it’s so nice to feel safe.”

Patsy was talking about Jesus - the hero of her story, the knight who laid down his life, conquered death itself, and then rose victorious. He was her safety.

Our world is broken. Fear lurks everywhere. We grow angry, anxious, and depressed. We become focused on protecting ourselves. Our lives shrink.

Then we see our knight, standing resolute in the midst of the battle. Courage comes. We begin to live large, even in the face of staggering challenges. Now suffering has meaning and victory is around every corner. We begin to feel safe.

A few days later, Patsy’s knight came and whisked her away. She passed with a smile on her face.

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