The doctors had tried to re-start her heart for almost half an hour. They gave up, declared her dead, removed the crash cart from her hospital room, and left her husband to have some final moments with the withered body of his wife. But he wasn’t alone – hospital rules required a nurse remain present.
She stood quietly at the door, watching him as he held his wife’s cooling hand. He didn’t say a word, audibly anyway. He just sat there, looking into his wife’s dead face. I wonder what he was thinking in those moments. Was he angry with the God of his Christian wife, the God he didn’t quite believe in? Or was it love that filled his thoughts; the love that strengthened both of them through the many years together, yet was now drained from her cancer-filled body?
The nurse had others things she should be doing right now, but for some reason she felt like this was the place she needed to be most. The husband sometimes let out a sigh, or sniffed back some tears – but no other sounds were heard. Twenty minutes had passed since the team of doctors gave up and left the room.
Then it happened. The dead wife opened her eyes, looked into her husband’s face, and said, “I love you.” The nurse had a moment of dumb shock. When she gained a bit of control, she headed for the emergency call button.
“No, she’s gone,” the husband said. The nurse checked, and indeed… no pulse.
Such is the power of love. The love of the wife, and the love of God. For God granted the wife one final wish, to go back to her husband and tell him she loves him, one more time. And then she was gone.
And the husband began thinking in new ways about God and Jesus.
(I stress again, this is a true story.)