The clock on the wall ticked away the time as it had all day. In the quiet, each second seemed like an eternity. Each movement of the hands was jarring in the stillness, offensive, intruding. Silence and tension hung thickly in the air. The walls of the small room were white, sterile. There were no pleasant features, no sense of home; only a sorrow that called to all who entered.
In the middle of the room was a bed. In the bed was a man. He was elderly and feeble. His eyes were closed as he rested. Wires and tubes protruded from under the covers while an IV stood nearby. Along the wall were computers and other machinery. These things had one purpose. To keep this man alive for another hour, another day.
Around the bed sat three figures. One of them was a woman. She held the man’s hand, tears streaming quietly down her face. Her two small children sat in silence. It seemed as though the situation was too much. They couldn’t possibly understand.
A sob escaped the woman’s lips and she shuddered. The man on the bed slowly opened his eyes. His head turned gently, taking in the scene. His gaze fixed on the woman.
“Don’t cry,” he whispered.
She looked up. “Dad.”
This was all she could mange. The words that she so wanted to say would not come, they could not. “I don’t want to lose you.”
“You won’t.” His words came slowly, but, for a brief moment, there was no pain in them. “I am going to a much better place. Soon I will run to my savior and feel his loving arms around me. No more sickness or pain forever. That is where you will find me… later. We will not be separated forever. Just for a brief second of the eternity we will have together.”
His daughter sat there, trying to absorb his words—willing herself to accept them.
“Don’t cry,” he said again. “I’ll see you soon.” He looked toward the end of the room and a look of peace came over his face as he said, “They’re here for me, don’t worry.” With that he lay back and closed his eyes. That was the end. His grip on her hand loosened, and the line on a nearby monitor went flat. As a steady tone sounded, one of the children, tears flowing freely now, began to speak.
“Our father that is in heaven, holy is your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…”