JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME
I do not mean this irreverently, but the way I’ve seen God work sometimes, I call him “God of ‘just in the nick of time.’”
For weeks I have been searching for my lost coin purse. It had belonged to my grandmother and was the one thing I asked for when she died. It also held my driver’s license.
Upon rising the other morning, I gave up and planned a trip to DMV. But within two hours, I held the coin purse in my hands. The timing was perfect and reminded me of another close call.
In 2009, my husband Richard and I had been battling his lung cancer for months. When told it had spread to his brain, we fell into numb resignation.
I found him one morning with an open Bible in his hands. I was very involved in church activities, but he never was interested in joining me. He looked up. “I think there’s something in here I need to know,” he said pensively.
“Would you like me to arrange a Bible study? I’m too close to be objective,” I responded.
Being acquainted with some of my church friends, he was open to their coming over. At the second visit of reading and conversations about Jesus of Nazareth, the story of salvation and forgiveness hit its mark. Richard’s face brightened.
“That is so simple!” he exclaimed.
After his baptism, he was different. Richard always had cussed like a sailor because, well, he once was a sailor. But no such language now. His parents died when he was a boy, and from his stories of them throughout our marriage, it was easy to see how much he missed them. But now he looked forward to seeing them again.
He had lived a rough life in foster homes and had run away, eventually joining the military where he spent most of his life. He had done things in Vietnam that, though necessary, he regretted. Now, peace.
Eight days after his baptism, Richard was bedridden with the brain tumor having its way.
It was the serenity he carried those final days I’ll remember more than the cancer battle. Some might say the fight was over at his death, but honestly, I think it was over when he said, “That is so simple.”
He dodged a bullet of eternal significance and won the last war. Just in the nick of time.
Originally published March 23, 2016 in the La Grande Observer newspaper. Reprinted with permission.