Recently, as I listened to Matt Redman‘s Never Once, the Lord reminded me of several situations I have gone through over the last few years. In particular, He reminded me of his faithfulness to “‘never leave [me] nor forsake [me].’ So [I] can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5c-6, ESV).
I will never forget the first time I cared for a terminal patient as she began the dying process. She was from Eastern Europe, only spoke her native language, understood very little English, and had no one at the bedside to translate for her. By the time I came on shift, she had already lapsed into a coma. I spent most of the evening in her room talking to her because I hold the strong conviction that no one should die alone and without someone holding their hand telling them how precious they are in God’s sight. Whenever I care for an actively dying patient who has no one at the bedside, I always ensure that either myself, another nurse, or a tech/unit secretary is in the room talking to the patient and holding their hand.
At one point during the night, I started singing various hymns. She never responded to anything I did or said… until I began singing Abide With Me by Francis Henry Lyte (1793-1847). The woman who hadn’t responded to anything I had done or said–even painful stimuli–and was very clearly near death opened her eyes, looked me straight in the eye, and feebly began singing along with me in her own language before lapsing back into a coma.