The Last Breath

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and
clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."
Psalm 30:11-12 (NIV)


Sally's mother had cancer, enough to shrivel her petite frame down to
sixty-five pounds. Sally went to visit her mother in their native
Kansas. By now the cancer had made her mother deaf. "Mother,
read these cards out loud to me," Sally mouthed as she held up a
series of index cards with the gospel message of salvation printed on
them. Her mother dutifully read the cards, one by one, until Sally
held up the one that read, "...for I am a sinner." Sally's mother
stopped reading and insisted, "Sally, I am not a sinner!" Sally left, greatly discouraged. Her mother's end appeared soon, yet she still had not accepted Christ. Her misunderstanding of sin and her need to repent were formidable roadblocks to her conversion.

Several months later Sally's relatives called and said, "if you want
to see your mother alive, you'd better come now." Sally flew out
from her home in California to the little farmhouse that her
immigrant French mother had lived in for most of her adult life.
When Sally arrived her mother was comatose. Sally pulled her
child-sized mother upright on her bed, "Mother!" she said through
gritted teeth. "You are not going to die without knowing Jesus!"
She laid her tiny frame back down and began to pray loudly as she
held on to the rim of heaven.

Sally prayed all night. The next morning she was singing the simple refrain called, "Alleluia." That is when her mother woke up. She sat up, looked at Sally and exclaimed in her broken English, "Sally, sing alleluia! Sing! Jesus
in room with me!" Tears of joy trailed down her mother's shrunken
cheeks. Then she smiled wondrously, laid back down on her pillow and
died. "Don't stop praying for your loved ones," Sally exhorted
us at a women's retreat I attended. "Don't stop praying until they
take their last breath!"


Prayer: Lord, please give us perseverance in prayer as we look longingly to see Your hand at work in those we treasure. Amen.


By Merilee (Washington, USA)