On June 14, 2002, I was enjoying a beautiful, sunny day at a local park. As I sat in my car looking out at the lake, I was very grateful to be having time to myself while my husband and son were in Michigan. I had really been looking forward to my relaxing Friday afternoon, after a rather stressful week.
As I recall, I began to pray in the Spirit. The following words came to me: “Bob is going to die soon. Go visit him today.” Bob was my father-in-law who lived in a nursing home, and I had not planned to visit him at all. I was not at all sure this was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. After prayer for discernment not to be deceived by a lying spirit, and saying, “Not my will, but Yours,” it seemed that I was to go. I reasoned that it couldn’t do any harm, and I’d better check and see how he was doing. However, I really did not want to “give up” my beautiful afternoon. The last time I had visited Bob, he had been very irritable when I talked with him briefly about Jesus. He was not a Christian.
Much to my amazement, when I entered his room, he was in bed with his eyes closed in the middle of the day. I took his hand and told him I thought he might be missing Tom (my husband) while he was in Michigan. Tom was very faithful to visit him frequently. There was no response. I said, “Bob, if you can hear me, please squeeze my hand.” He squeezed. He seemed extremely weak and frail compared to the last time I had seen him. He asked for water, and sipped from a straw as I held the glass for him. He opened his eyes briefly, and said he felt so powerless. He asked me to help him, and seemed to be in discomfort. I rubbed his legs, and talked with him. I told him I’d be back the next day.
On Saturday, I took a large photo of his first great-grandchild, who was named for him. He was genuinely very pleased, holding the photo himself as he lay in bed. His face lit up, and he said, “What a cute baby!” twice. His voice was animated, and stronger than it had been the day before. He then asked for water. Only this time, he was not strong enough to sip from the straw. I had to hold it to his lips. He began to say, “Help me!” which was very out of character. I rubbed his legs once again. I told him I loved him, and he said, “I love you, too, Peggy.”
On Monday morning, there was a message on my answering machine. Bob was dying. They were sure. I hurried over, with much fervent prayer. I was concerned about his salvation, and my husband would not be home until that evening. There was no response when I talked with him, and he never opened his eyes. However, I know that hearing is the last thing to go. I told him that if ever there was a time to call on Jesus, it was now. I shared how much I loved him, and how much the Lord loved him. I asked him to pray along with me, and led in a prayer of salvation. The prayer of salvation was: "Jesus, I ask You to forgive me of all sins. I believe You are the Son of God, and died to pay for my sins. I believe You rose from the dead. Please come into my heart, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit." I held his hand, rubbed his legs, and sang hymns. I told him that he would be leaving the earth soon, and that if he had prayed that prayer, we would spend eternity together.
On Thursday, the nursing home chaplain came in to see Bob. His eyes were now open, staring and fixed in place, as they had been for days. He never blinked. She asked me if she could lead him in a meditation about Jesus. I said yes. As she held his hand, she told him she wanted him to picture himself in a meadow. She described it to him, and then told him to look for Jesus. All of a sudden, Bob’s eyes began to move back and forth! Both of us were amazed. She had him go “sit with Jesus and let Him put His arms around you. You can come back to this safe place any time.”
Later, I asked the hospice nurse if she had ever seen anyone move their eyes after they had become fixed in place. She had not. I felt certain this was the sign I had asked the Lord for, regarding Bob’s salvation. Bob left to be with the Lord on Friday, June 21. I was so very, very grateful the Lord had spoken to me to visit him, and that I had obeyed. As it turned out, I was the last family member to see him and hear him talk before he slipped into a coma. His last words to me were: “I love you, too, Peggy.” I’ll never forget the delighted look on his face as he enjoyed the large photo of his grandson, who is his namesake. God is good, and He speaks today!