Next, I phoned Curt to ask him not to pick me up until I phoned. He was a night owl so didn’t mind waiting for the call. The remainder of the shift was busy; before I knew it, the time to clock-out had come.
“Hey, Sojourner! You’re headed in the wrong direction? The door out is that way!” I had punched my time-card but headed back to the elevators. The others standing in line at the clock chimed in with their joking offerings as to why I might be so confused, all related to my newly-wed status, of course. I just waved and called back over my shoulder.
“I’m done working; now, I’m going visiting.” Turning to face the closing doors of the elevator, I smiled at their stunned stares.
Mrs. Murphy* was wide-awake and waiting for me. Before I left the Orthopedic Ward, I’d let the nursing staff know I’d be returning so they wouldn’t worry about my visit.
“Mrs. Murphy, I’d like to tell you about something that happened to me last year when I was studying in Colorado. I met God, alone in my living room. Would you like to hear what happened?” Her hand was already trembling as mine gently squeezed. She enthusiastically agreed to listen to my story. (See A New Door Opens, Conclusion)
My back was tired so I, briefly, let go of Mrs. Murphy’s hand and pulled the chair over to her bed. I raised the head of her bed so our eyes were more on the same level. Her anxiety was palpable; I longed for Mrs. Murphy to receive the Lord’s peace.
It was close to Midnight when my account drew to a close, Mrs. Murphy’s attention had never waivered. Reaching the end of the re-telling of that wonderful episode in my life, I couldn’t help but notice the longing and tears in Mrs. Murphy’s eyes. “Mrs. Murphy, Jesus loves you so much and He wants you to have His peace. Just as He gave it to me that night, he is offering it to you right now.”
“Oh, no, dear. If only… but, I’m a Catholic. We don’t really do things like that, you know.” I couldn’t help it; a chuckle escaped from my lips.
“Yes, I know, Mrs. Murphy. I’m a Catholic, too. I was a Catholic when this happened to me. It was at the foot of my crucifix, remember? No, we don’t really do things like that, but we should. It doesn’t mean that we can’t still be Catholics. It’s not about religion, Mrs. Murphy. It’s about God’s precious love for us.”
“Oh, do you think so? Can that happen to me, too?” Now her tears needed a Kleenex and I handed her the little box off the bedside table.
“Yes, Mrs. Murphy. Would you like to repeat the prayer after me? Would that be helpful?” Immediately dropping the Kleenex box, Mrs. Murphy grabbed both of my hands and bowed her head.
What a privilege it was to lead Mrs. Murphy through the simple prayer that asks the Lord’s forgiveness for her sins, thanks Him for that promised forgiveness, and asks Jesus to come into her heart. She readily surrendered her life to Jesus right there and then. As I listened to her sobs, I re-lived my own experience last May 13. I knew exactly how she was feeling and I was happy for her beyond expression.
Finally, we both blew our noses and laughed together, with the precious joy of the Lord. Mrs. Murphy’s countenance was so peaceful, her face simply radiant.
I gave Mrs. Murphy a hug and bid her, “Goodnight,” telling her I’d stop by tomorrow, even if I was back in Maternity for my shift. Saying she’d look forward to another visit, she added, “And, thank you ever-so much, dear. I know I’ll sleep well now… for the first time in as long as I can remember.”
How marvelous to be able to share such spectacular news with my hubby as I slid over next to him for that ride home. I could hardly wait to return to work the next afternoon.
Maternity was so busy that I didn’t get over to the Orthopedic Ward until the meal break. I wolfed down my sack lunch and headed for Mrs. Murphy’s room. The bed was empty. Hmm? Maybe God had healed her and she had already been discharged? Or, could she have been transferred to another ward? I almost sprinted to the nurses’ station to ask. My break was running out. No time to lose finding Mrs. Murphy.
“Mrs. Murphy? Oh, yes, you were the one who came to visit her after shift last night, right?” I nodded, anxious as I waited for directions as to where I could find the patient. “Well, uh, how can I tell you this? As it turns out, Mrs. Murphy was right; she was dying. In fact, she died about half an hour after you left last night. I’m sorry.”
At first, I was sorry, too. It felt like I was sloshing my way through a bog as I looked for the nearest restroom. Once inside, I cried with sorrow for only a moment. Then my tears turned to real joy. Mrs. Murphy was in the arms of the Savior she had surrendered to and what better miracle could I have wanted for her? What’s so great about life on Planet Earth that I should wish an extension for her? No, the greater miracle was an eternity with Jesus, not the temporary relief from a bone tumor no one could identify. The saving of a soul, the giving of true peace, that is the real miracle.
****Have a good weekend!