A Time to Tell

It’s a story that needs telling. Maybe some stories are sacred enough to leave for the telling in eternity. Maybe some can be told as a teaser for story time a hundred years from now. I will leave most things out but you will get the gist.

sunset in the storm eml
  Ominous sunset with a storm coming. I wonder what clashing spiritual forces look like? 

A while after moving to a strange place, with hardly an acquaintance, my wife casually mentioned to me she had an aunt (I had never met) living in the same small town where we lived. Odd situation I guess. Auntie didn’t like any of us or care to meet but she had cancer and was not long for this world. My wife had never felt moved to get to know auntie until now. “I’m going to visit her starting tomorrow” she announced “and she probably will not want to see me”. 

My wife found her address,  knocked on her door and when the door opened a crack with a “What do you want” greeting, she was quick to stick a foot in the door and let auntie know who’s daughter she was, that she wanted to visit and she brought a few cookies. Auntie took the cookies and shut the door.

This went on for awhile until my wife made it inside the door to talk a little longer and visit with one cold old bitter women. Seems Auntie didn’t need sympathy, prying relatives and even rejected her own children half the time. Auntie had no time for prayer or anything to do with God.

Auntie believed that when one dies, that’s it. No after life, no purpose to life, no God, nothing. Burn the body and get rid of the ashes.

In all this, my wife seemed more and more confident that God was pushing her from a weekly visit over time to daily visits by the time Auntie went into the hospital. “She needs someone” my wife kept saying. The nurses drew straws (they actually did) to see who had Auntie duty. Auntie was not a nice lady and even refused to let her grandchildren visit her. She did not want to even know their names or see their faces. When my wife or her  grown children would visit, Auntie would pretend to be asleep. If they tried to hug her she would say “You may shake my hand”. My wife would not ask. She would hug her anyway. Gradually her stiffening at hugs became less like hugging a wooden board.

My wife would sing hymns and read Auntie bible passages about knowing Jesus when Auntie would pretend to be sleeping. Some days Auntie would actually talk to her. She would not let any clergy see her or anyone pray with or for her.

A few days before Auntie died, My wife felt moved to ask her if she could pray for her. Auntie said “I suppose it would be OK”. My wife thanked Jesus for dying for all the things that separated us from God. She prayed the whole plan of salvation as she had been reading to Auntie in the bible. She prayed for Auntie to just believe in Jesus. If she would just believe. When she was done Auntie said something no one had heard from her lips in a very long time, “Thank you”. Then she went to sleep and My wife went home.

The next day some of Aunties kids said to my wife “What did you do to her?” Alarmed my wife said “I prayed with her, why?”

Auntie spent the last few days of her life smiling, thanking nurses and asking to meet her grandchildren. Hugs happened and Auntie was a different person. Auntie never acknowledged praying with my wife or believing in Jesus but there isn’t any other evidence to explain the complete change from an angry and bitter old dying women to a sweet little old cancerous women in pain. She was not getting more morphine. She actually seemed to be living beyond the pain drugs. She died much happier than she had lived most of her life.

“All I did was do what I felt God was telling me to do” says my wife.

My wife and I thought God had relocated us from family, friends and great fishing lakes for a job and better income. Now we are thinking God had far bigger things in mind. It’s very possible that God moved my wife here and gave me a job while He was at it.

  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord  “As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

Gary

Please comment below, thanks

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23 thoughts on “A Time to Tell

  1. Thanks for not letting this story go untold. Thank God for the ways he whispers to his children who hear him in secret, whispers that result in loud, public shouts of joy to his glory. Grace and peace to you and your wife.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, lois it is good to follow that voice. I recommend it more easily from the cheap seats rather than the “Hot seat” . Sometimes it is daunting and the following might seem bigger than us (usually is) but thankfully not bigger than our God who really does the heavy lifting. I guess we at best deserve a “Participant” award? Yet God promises way more…Yea!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Parish Dynamics and commented:
    Gary Fultz writes a blog under the title, “God’s Ways Are…Different.” He recently shared this dramatic account of his wife’s encounter with a relative. This story spoke to me of God’s grace in two ways.

    The first is how God reached through to a woman who was self-absorbed with her own misery. Opening herself to God gave Him the opportunity to ease her bitterness and pain and for her to receive the hope of eternal life.

    The second is the movement of grace within the heart of Gary’s wife. Despite the antagonism directed toward her, she received the courage and resolve to reach through her aunt’s opposition and bring God’s love to someone who was desperately hurting. This is an example of spiritual heroism — when God’s Spirit moves within us to help us overcome barriers so we can share His love and do His will.

    The second is

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they are!
        I find the thought of learning about God’s amazing feats throughout all of eternity to be both exciting and humbling. There have to be so many that we will never be able to hear them all. God is limitless in His amazing-ness!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. What a precious story, thanks so much for sharing it. It particularly resonated in my own heart as I had a similar experience with my mother who, though an excellent mum in most respects, was never loving nor affectionate (thankfully my dad made up for it).
    When I was 13 I decided to do something about it. I began giving goodnight hugs even though she would go rigid and try to wriggle away. I left gifts and cards for her to find. Finally, I hid to watch and saw her crying on finding a Christmas nativity scene I’d carved for her. It was not long after she confessed to me that she’d always been afraid to love me because she thought whoever she loved died (her grandparents, dad, first fiance, etc.) My dad and I both had nearly died and she was scared if she loved us too much we would. At last understanding I assured her I was not going to die and she hadn’t “caused” those deaths etc. and we became very close and affectionate.
    Many people carry fears and circumstances we don’t understand. It is always worth the effort to love them, sooner or later it breaks through the barriers. It can’t fail for God is love!

    Like

    1. Thanks for your story Claire, I often wonder how many people carry such deep pain that it may take an exorbitant amount of sacrifice and a long period of time to see and understand that God is loving them through someone who decides to care as Jesus does.

      Liked by 1 person

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