On a Fast Road to Hell

 

If a man was on a fast road to hell, is there anyway to turn him around in a hurry?

I still hear those words just as clear in my ears as I did that morning.
I can hear his thin, frail voice and I can see his eyes staring at me in absolute terror.
His face was hollow, and white with an oxygen tube out of each side of his nose.
Thomas clenched my hand with strength that should not have been in such a tiny body.

“Bob So-and-So had to go on oxygen and once they put you on that, its just a matter of time” Thomas informed me,
“If a man was on a fast road to hell, is there any way to turn him around in a hurry?”

My heart sank and as quick as it sank, it leaped for joy, “Oh yes, Thomas,”I grinned from ear to ear “ it is so easy and you don’t have to be afraid of anything ever again!”

Tears ran down his cheek.

We all have Thomases in our lives.
One day, when we expect nothing but they ordinary, they just walk in, and our ordinary has suddenly  taken on the resemblance of something  of purpose.

We aren’t quite sure what to do with them or why they are there.

But we do believe there is a reason, and it doesn’t take long to figure out that the reason isn’t about us.
God is the most purposeful being there is, whether it’s a someone or a something, when our lives are His own,  there is significance in the insignificant.

I met Thomas 9 months ago in the  spring.
He was a dear sweet unassuming man, but wise in the simple things of country life.
His sweetness had a humor about it that would make me grin ear-to-ear, a little mischievous, and brilliantly witty.
You would find your self caught between wanting to hug him or slug him.
Mostly I wanted to hug him.

Thomas was a man with little time on the clock. He had several heart attacks, and was in and out of the hospital regularly with close calls.
He was a man that did not want to die.
He was desperate to live and that is how we met.

Thomas invited me to be his nutritional consultant (the other hat I wear) to see if I could find any flaws and glitches in his diet that may be stealing valuable years of life.

I found Thomas, doing everything right, and then some.
He raised his own chickens, ground his own flour and dug the dandelions out of his yard for salads.

This man ate better than I did, and the brutal truth was that his 88 years old body was just wearing out.

On a professional level, there was nothing I could do for Thomas.
How badly he wanted to throw away the rainbow of pills that he was taking every day.

But as a nutritionist, by law, I could not even discuss his medical condition with him, just his food.

All summer, I drove out to visit Thomas and his wife, mostly asking myself why.
Sometimes grumbling to myself.   More often, however, just praying.
There was nothing I could say or do that would turn back this man’s days.

Only a miracle from God.

I explained that to him, but still he wanted to see me.

So I would drive out early on my mornings off for a house call. The one hour consultation would turn into a morning of tea and bran muffins, and I found myself telling him to put his wallet away when time came for me to leave.

I would tell him to keep doing what he was doing, and there was nothing I could teach him anymore;  my service was now a friendship.

He would smile delighted, and ask me to come back soon.  Come early in the morning, but not before 6.

I would leave, discouraged and heartbroken, like I was failing him, and thinking of all the “better” things I could be doing with my  one morning to myself.

Our odd little friendship continued to blossom.
Thomas would go into the hospital, and as soon as he was out, I’d receive a call from his wife, asking for a visit.

Visit we did.

My  son, who has a wonderful knack with the elderly, would come to.

Trevor would captivate them with all his profound 12 year old knowledge and dimples. Personally, I think the dimples charmed them more than his knowledge.
Trevor took a particular fancy to Thomas’s  chickens, and Thomas loved to share stories about “the flock”

Shortly before winter, “the flock” came home to roost with Trevor and mom, when Thomas and Irene decided to leave the farm for  an apartment.

Thomas was obviously displeased at the thought of leaving home and  of the apartments.  “All those people and all those germs”. But I never saw him complain or refuse.   He would just have to take more garlic, he would say.

I believe his love and support of Irene and her decisions was far to strong.
They would go together, what ever may come.

Thomas was  scared to die.
Although he made jokes about cheating death, it was breathing down his neck, and Thomas knew it.  Fear emanated out of him.

It was during these drives out to Thomas’ that I would let my mind work through my BLESS steps.

I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do, or what to say anymore.
But I did know that this man and his wife were in my life for a reason and I had to keep my heart ready.

Off of myself, my thoughts and my plans and ready for what ever God wanted to do.

The beauty of the 5 keys in  BLESS is that they prepare you to do that.

With these keys you are trained to  be ready for when the insignificant significant invades your world.

You are prepared, and while you may not know exactly what to do, you will have all the tools and guide lines that will lead you.

With BLESS I have learned to effectively give God my hands, my words and my heart.
And I trust that He uses them exactly as He desires.

Because of BLESS I can have confidence that I am making a difference in the live of everyone who crosses my path. Whether I ever see the evidence of it.

I know God did that in Thomas’ life.

I believed God would use me and speak through me and touch him. I let my heart open up to fall hopelessly in love with this little man and his wife, and trusted the love of God flowing through me to captivate and  draw them.

Because I now know how to BLESS, I know that every thing I do and say is seasoned with the power of life.

I was just planning to sit down and write a Christmas card to Thomas and Irene, when I received the news.
Thomas stepped into eternity yesterday. December 9, ironically my son’s birthday. My heart broke into a million pieces.  I shocked myself at the thought of how much I will miss him and how much I loved him.

Over the last few visits Thomas let me pray for him.  I think he realized only God could heal him, and prayer was his last option.

When he begged me for a way to turn him “from his fast road to hell”, I had the honour of praying for him.
Sadly, Thomas could never find the courage to pray with me.
It is a question that I will carry until I, too, walk over into eternity.

I must be real with you at this point, dear ones, there are many times when we may never know what God has done with and because of us.
We may very well have to walk out our own days wondering.

You will have nagging questions as I will always have that question in my heart about Thomas.

But what you learn in BLESS will anchor you to a confidence and a peace you have never dreamed, so that the questions never become unbearable.

Tears streamed down Thomas’ face and he marveled at the simplicity of the “good news’ and the saving love of the Father.
“Thank you” he smiled softly “now I have something I would like to give to you…. a hug”

Its funny how you always think you will have the chance for that one last visit.

I had mentally prepared one more appeal to convince Thomas to trust God.
But tomorrow is not something promised to any of us.

It is the one thing that Thomas has forever changed in me.

I am thankful for it.

I am humbled because of it.

I will never look at my minutes, days and moments the same.
They are an immense precious gift.
A gift that many would desperately do anything to have more of, as Thomas did.

Bless you Thomas.  You made a difference to me.

man feeding chickens

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One Response

  1. […] husband, Thomas, had died a month ago,  and I hadn’t heard from her […]

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