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In this excerpt from Hospitals, Hope and Healing, a heavenly visitor prays with a dying man and heals him of pain and fear.
Six years after we were married, my 29-year-old husband was fighting leukemia. Pain dulled Chris' blue eyes; he was barely able to move without help. Doctors offered little hope, and for months I slept on a cot alongside his bed at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. At 3:00 a.m., I was shaken awake by an alarmed nurse.
“We can’t find Chris!” she exclaimed.
My eyes darted to his bed. The sheet was turned back; the bed empty. How? I jumped up and raced past the nurses’ station outside the room, then ran down the hall. As I passed the glass-paneled chapel door, I glimpsed Chris sitting inside with someone. I burst in, crying, “Chris, we were so worried....”
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He turned and smiled. “I’m fine,” he said.
I stared at the young man who sat with him. His skin was smooth and clear, and he had short white hair. He wore exactly the type of clothes Chris liked: checked flannel shirt, crisp Levi’s, and lace-up work boots. The young man looked up at me and my heart caught. As I stared into his crystal-blue eyes, I felt stunned.
Chris broke the spell. “Melissa, please leave us,” he asked. “I’m okay. I’ll be back.”
After reporting Chris' whereabouts (no one else in that security-tight hospital had seen his visitor), I went back to our room. About a half hour later Chris returned exhilarated, merrily rolling his IV pole–walking on his own! And he didn’t look sick anymore.
“Who was that man?” I gasped, not sure what to ask first. “You’ll never believe it.” He grinned. “It was an angel–my guardian angel.”
Chris sat down on the bed. “I awoke with an overpowering urge to go to the chapel,” he explained, “and I was able to walk there easily. As I knelt at the cross I heard a voice behind me, and I turned to find him standing there. He asked if there was anything I wanted to be forgiven for. I’ve always hated my stepfather. The angel said I was forgiven, and you know, for the first time, the hatred I had harbored for so long was truly gone. Then I told him I was worried about leaving you. He said you would be fine, that all my prayers were answered.”
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The next day with Chris was unbelievable. He ate well and visited patients on our floor, buoying their spirits. I thought he was healed.
Two days later Chris died. But in a very real sense I know that he had been healed–healed of fear and pain, ready to go on to new life. And when my time comes, I’ll be ready too.