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2013-06-20 digital edition

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2013-06-20 / Church

THEY SAID IT

“Heaven Won’t Have Me!”

“Heaven won’t have me and hell is afraid I’ll take over,” Clark quipped. “Guess that means I’m stuck!

Clark had lived hard. He began drinking early and prided himself on how much he could put down. Drugs followed. Fighting became a pastime.

But Clark knew how to work hard. He’d been with the same company since he was 17, slowly climbing the ladder to foreman. He was a strong, powerfully built guy.

He began having terrible pain. At the ER, they discovered liver cancer. After doing extensive blood work, his doctor told him there was nothing they could do. Several days later, he was in a hospital bed in the back room of his parents’ mobile home. He could barely move.

I walked in and introduced myself. He looked into my eyes, then at my aloha shirt. He smiled and said, “You’re not quite what I expected, but I’ve been waiting for you.”

Clark told me his life’s story. Regret after regret. “I could wish I had done this or that, but that’s no good now. It’s time to get serious with God, starting right now.”

So we got serious. He asked me to get him ready. We looked at several Bible verses and talked about God’s love for him. We discussed how he was created by God, for God. We prayed.

“I guess life only makes sense when you know the Bigger Story,” he said.

Clark passed three days later.

“He was so peaceful,” his mom said through tears.

Clark wasn’t stuck after all.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice. Visit him on his website at www.garyroe.com

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