This man, we’ll call him Brian, had a communication problem. He wasn’t deaf but one of the operations that kept him alive the first time he had cancer was the removal of his larynx, or voice box. Brian could hear but he couldn’t speak above a whisper. Unlike many deaf people, he could hear speech. However, his frustration was due to others not being able to make out what he was saying. I managed to understand him reasonably well, as he was quite easy to lip read and he used gestures to supplement what he was trying to get across.
A Christian couple who live in the same block of flats were very supportive to Brian, particularly over his last few months in hospital and then in a hospice. I’m not aware that they talked a lot about Jesus to him but they certainly lived out the love of the Lord. Brian’s funeral was held at the local Salvation Army hall and was taken by a Salvation Army preacher. The preacher visited Brian a few times to get to know him and to arrange details for the funeral. Despite no previous interest in Christian things, Brian asked the man from the Salvation Army to pray with him. He certainly had softened towards the Lord and many of us are pretty confident that he came to know the Lord in the end.
Brian had told me previously that he didn’t want to know about the love of Jesus because “it was only for good people”. The Salvation Army preacher’s talk at the funeral was based on the fact that nobody is perfect and that even people like David, who defeated Goliath, was both an adulterer and a murderer. Only Jesus is perfect.
Aren’t you glad that God loves us so much that He doesn’t dismiss us when we sin or make mistakes? If Brian is in heaven now, and I trust he is, it’s because he recognised his need for Jesus shortly before he died.
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!