While working as a nurse on the cancer unit, I had contact with many people who were in desperate situations looking for an answer. And I knew the answer…Jesus! God opened the door for many opportunities to tell about how He can give hope in hopeless situations, give strength to the weary, and how much He desires a relationship with each person.
Most of the cancer patients became like friends to the full time nurses because we cared for them for extended periods of time over several months. Inevitably, friendships were formed. Jenny* was in her 30’s and we quickly became friends. She was an atheist. I knew that because she told me so. She knew that I believed in God and had a relationship with Him, but she wanted nothing to do with Him. She asked me not to speak of Him, so I didn’t but I continued to be Jesus’ hands while I cared for her and prayed silently that she would give her heart to God. She eventually slipped into a semi-coma and I was caring for her the day she died.
I have witnessed many deaths. I have been with people who peacefully breathe their last, and have been with people who see angels. I have seen people die suddenly and seen them die much later than the doctors predicted. But I have never seen anyone die like Jenny.
Jenny continued to be in a semi-coma but was so restless. It seemed that no combination of meds could calm her. Her room was always dark and she had several people in the room with her. She had not spoken for a few days and was in the process of dying. I would come in and give her meds in the IV and she would be calm for a short amount of time, but then grow restless again. I continued to care for Jenny and towards the end of my shift I went in to give her more meds. As usual, she was on her back with her eyes closed. I turned on the light above the sink to prepare the IV tubing so I could give her meds. Suddenly, she got very stiff so I looked at her face. She opened her eyes wide in fear and stared straight up at the ceiling. It’s what happened next that has haunted me. She said, “No!” and then screamed, “NO!!! NOOOO!!!” and died.
The immediate reaction of everyone in the room was to cry. Her friends cried tears of sorrow because they were going to miss their friend. Her parents cried over the loss of their daughter. I cried because of the way her life ended and the emptiness of not living fully loved. It is never God’s will that anyone die apart from Him, so I know He cried. His heart cried over the fact that He passionately wanted Jenny to know Him for who He was, and He wanted her to experience His indescribable love. God had not forced a relationship with her, and she had not chosen a relationship with Him. Death made it final.
*This is not her real name.
Thank you Sandra for letting me share that with the world. Maybe you should consider your own blog!
Please feel free to share your comments on you reaction to this story. I know Sandra would appreciate your thoughts too.