Then she checked the mail and found this letter from my Dad*:
Dear Mom K,The letter confirmed much of what had come up when she prayed. She called Jrex and his sister and told them to call the nursing home and start the process.
These are tragic times for you. I can imagine many of your emotions because I lost my wife twelve years ago. Know that both you and Dad K are in my prayers – a gift of peace for you -- a gift of healing for him.
And healing takes many forms. With My Wife’s cancer, we had prayer teams stacked up in our living room waiting to come upstairs to pray with her. At times she was too exhausted to see them, and we had to send dear friends away. I confidently expected Jesus to heal her – and He did – but far differently than I expected.
He healed her real hurts:
And as a result –
- Her lack of trust for her father; her gut feeling that she’d never had a father who loved her.
He healed all those hurts before she left us on September 28, 1997. Jesus gave her a new father – my Dad. In the final two years of their lives, they truly became loving father and daughter to each other. They talked on the phone. They corresponded. At times, quite independently of me. Because she could trust my Dad, it became easier and easier for her to trust the LORD. And then, during the last two weeks of her life, she looked forward to death. She said again and again, “I’m going home.”
- Her lack of trust for her heavenly Father.
- And her fear of dying.
All that’s background to an understanding the Holy Spirit gave me this past week. I was talking with OTRgirl on the phone when I remembered an insight that My Wife and I learned from Catherine Marshall. She made the obvious comment that, as we age, our bodies and minds deteriorate. But then, she followed up with the startling comment that for Spirit-filled Christians, our spirits continue to grow and expand, even when our minds or bodies are useless.
And if so, Dad K’s situation may be far different than what we naturally assume. We tend to see a person in a coma as being partly gone. But, if Dad K’s spirit is flourishing under the blessing of the Holy Spirit, then these may be the best days of his life.
Dad K may be longing for release from bodily imprisonment, so he can be with Jesus in his glorified body. As it says in Hebrews 11:6, he may be longing for a better country—a heavenly one. If so, what’s holding him back? Perhaps his loving care for you.
That’s the leading I’ve been getting from the Holy Spirit.
Christ’s and yours,
Then she spent the rest of the weekend going back and forth emotionally and mentally. On Sunday night, she called Jrex in turmoil. I sat and prayed while they talked. Jrex was SO articulate and compassionate: "Mom, I feel completely peaceful about this decision, emotionally, theologically, ethically. But. The most important thing is that you feel peaceful. We don't want you to feel pushed into this." Then, a little while later, "Mom, you've been a good wife. You've loved and served Dad very well. You don't need to feel guilty about this decision." In the end she felt very tired and very sad, but peaceful.
Tomorrow is the day they are supposed to withdraw care. Jrex and I are on (separate) planes at 7 am, to get to NYC by 4 pm. I'll have my laptop with me and will try to keep you posted.
*He ran it by us first and we both thought it was great.