He sits in the cold, sterile hospital room, holding her hand, waiting for those inevitable words from the doctor. “I am sorry sir…she’s gone.” His heart aches with unimaginable pain as he watches the third person he has loved so deeply in his 80 years of life, pass away from this monster disease. Cancer. First, the wife of his youth, and mother of his 2 children. Next his oldest child, his best friend, his son. And now his dearly loved wife of his old age.
He grew up as an only child. He doesn’t talk much about his childhood. Is the pain too deep? Was there no love found there? There was a chill about him that comes from a hard childhood. As soon as he was old enough, he joined the Navy and married his gorgeous young bride. They had two children. He was away at sea a lot, being in the Navy, and his wife did most of the child-raising. He’d heard about God, but didn’t want anything to do with him. His wife used to say, “I believe there is a God, but I don’t believe in Him.”
What does it look like when a person raises a family without Christ at the center? There was so much hurt, pain, bitterness, and anger in that family. The words that were spoken…the love withheld. Probably because that was all he knew. That was how he had been raised too. When his two children were grown, they went off and had families of their own, each having two daughters. He wrote off his daughter and her daughters so many years ago. She’s bitter. He’s bitter. They haven’t spoke in over 20 years.
When the wife of his youth passed away from cancer, he was crushed. Now alone, he made the decision to move over 1300 miles away to be near his son. However, just 3 years later, his son was suddenly diagnosed with cancer, and was quickly losing his battle. Just before his son passed away, he met and married his new love. She was so good to him, and good for him. She was truly the light of his life, and made him happier than he had been, possibly his whole life. She was all a person could possibly be to another person. But now, as he sits in this cold, awful hospital room – she is gone too.
What now? His whole life he’s been kind of a “loner.” He hadn’t seemed to care too much about being alone. However, he always had someone, so he’s never known true loneliness. And now, he truly has no one.
After the funeral is over, her family and friends have gone home, he returns to his empty, lonely home. And, it’s just him.
Completely and utterly alone.
He’s made so many mistakes in his life. He’s pushed down so much anger and pain. He’s pushed so many people away. Worst of all, he has said no to the only One who truly loves him, and truly cares for him – God. “No, I don’t believe in You. No, I don’t want you in my life. No, I don’t need Your forgiveness, Your comfort, Your love, Your help, Your life. No thanks, God.”
He must be feeling the weight of all of this. The loneliness, pain, bitterness, grief – all of it. It must be close to consuming him.
Is there still hope?
Is there still hope for a lonely old man? A man who has told God “no” his whole life?
YES! There is still hope! It’s not too late. It’s never too late. 80 years is a long time on earth to say no to God. But God still says “come to me!” “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) It’s not too late…it will never be to late – until he takes his last breath.
And until that day…there is still someone on this earth who loves him, cares for him, and is praying for Him. One of those grand-daughters who’s heart God has miraculously and graciously changed. And she will be here. Praying for him, and loving him, until his last day.
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13