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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

He Now Breathes Celestial Air

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.” (Matt 3:16)

I shared with you several weeks ago in a devotional, How Will I Die, about a patient of mine that I led to the Lord.

I want to share the rest of the story with you now.

James has been getting sicker over the past weeks.

Yesterday, I sat next to him and we just talked. It was becoming increasingly difficult for him to talk due to his disease. This was a man that had once spoke seven different languages and now, he could barely speak one. He humbly tried to communicate with his family and friends. He was so weak but during our visit, I asked him what he thought was going on with the progress of his condition. He said, “I don’t know.”

I don’t ever want to take away someone’s hope but I do not want to ever leave things undone either. So there was a period of silence.......

I finally asked, “James, do you still want to be baptized?”

He looked at me and said, “Do you think it’s that close?”

I took his hand in mine and said, “Yes, I do.”

He said, “Well then, let’s do it tomorrow.”

And so tomorrow came.

He had had a rough night I later learned. His mom had sat up with him most of the night giving him medicine and holding his hand. Things a mother would do. She told me that she told him over and over how much she loved him. She said, "I don't think he heard me." I told her that "Yes, he did hear you." And a tear trickled down her face.

I had received a phone call early in the morning asking me if I could come to the house because James was much worse. I decided that before I came, I would try, call the Chaplain and ask him where he was. He answered his phone and he was only two blocks from where my patients’ house was. (What a God-wink!) Our Chaplain was going to be able to meet me in 10 minutes.

When I arrived at the house, my patient responded to me. I introduced him to our chaplain. I said, “James, here is Alan our chaplain. I promised you that we would get you baptized.”

James nodded with affirmation and blinked his eyes. He no longer was speaking.

The baptism was beautiful. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit--the sign of the cross was made on the forehead of a precious man. James was awake for it and just nodded. When the Chaplain finished, I walked the chaplain out the door. When I came back in, James was trying to sit up so I sat on the sofa with him.

Then I realized what was happening. His Jesus had come to get him. I told his mom what was happening. There we both said, “Go James, go see Jesus. We’ll see you soon”

James lay back in my arms as I rubbed his head and prayed while he took his last breath.

Then he began to breath celestial air… and he then stepped foot onto his eternal Home… with his Papa.

17 little hearts from you...:

Denise said...

You are an angel in a body of flesh...... We need more angels like you...........


A Stone Gatherer said...

Connie, I do not know how you do it! That must have been a beautiful moment, but oh I would cry and cry, just like I am now! To deal with death so often takes a special girl! Thanks for sharing James story!

Flip Flop Floozie said...

Here I am at work trying not to cry but it is not working for me!! I agree with Denise you are an angel...Sandy

Melli said...

YOU are such a Godsend! Oh Connie... I've said it before. God uses you SO GOOD!!! Amen!

Grace said...

Beautiful. Both the story and the story-teller.
Bless you.

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Technonana said...

Oh blessed release from the pain and suffering... just to lay back in your arms and then to be taken into Jesus' arms!!! Praise God that you were there for him and for his mom!!! I pray that God will wrap His arms around this mother and bring her peace!!

Grace said...

You're very welcome! I love Mandisa's stuff, too!

Denise said...

My dear beautiful, precious angel friend, I love you for the person you are, bless you always.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

What a rare and sacred privilege to usher a brother or sister into their "next."

This story is an important chapter in your journey and will bring comfort to countless lives as the days unfold.

Thank you for being the arms and breath of Jesus to this precious man. Well done, good and faithful servant.


Julie said...

That is SO beautiful!

I have no other words.......


Technonana said...

No, Papa is the cook, I do everything else!! My youngest daughter is the one who loves to cook and entertain... you can find her @Sweetsouthernpearl.com.

Donetta said...

Ya! James...:)

Sharon Brumfield said...

Celestial air--wonder what it smells like. Can you imagine how wonderful it will be?
This was beautiful girl.
And you know how I feel about the important job you door.
There is such a thin veil that stands between us and eternity.

Linda said...

I loved this, although it hurt to read it from a mother's standpoint. I think about death every single day. Also, the picture you have posted with this is amazingly appropriate.

My cup runneth over... said...

What an unspeakable honor and privilege. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, amazing moment with us. I can't imagine a more peaceful, loving way to go and meet our Lord. Bless you faithful one.

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