A Closed Window and An Open Door

I couldn’t bear the thought that I might never see her again, yet the stark reality was that my precious friend was dying of cancer, and only the closest family members were allowed to visit her. I was beyond myself with a sense of loss—loss in the present, and loss to come.

I tried to think of ways I could show up even though I wasn’t welcome, but soon realized that behaving like that would only make things harder for my friends’ family. With hot tears of disappointment I resigned myself to the heart-breaking situation.

The next Sunday our pastor announced that an elderly woman in our church was dying of cancer, and if we wanted to see her we needed to go visit soon. I took a deep breath, and made an important decision: If I wasn’t welcome to visit my friend, then I would go visit where I was welcome! I called the family of the elderly woman named Ruby, and made an appointment to visit her.

Ruby and Carol (a niece who was taking care of her,) welcomed my children and me with open arms. My children and I sang a few songs, visited, laughed a little, and then went home.

Soon after that Carol and her husband Dick started attending our church regularly. I knew that Carol was probably saved, but didn’t think Dick was. We visited them occasionally, and developed a wonderful friendship. 


One Sunday morning a few months after Ruby died our pastor gave a moving sermon about fishing, and wove it into the gospel message. After the message we stood for a closing hymn, and the pastor closed with prayer. During that prayer I felt God speak to my heart: “Go ask Dick if he wants to get saved today.” My heart started pounding as I waited for the pastor to finish the prayer, and as soon as he said ‘Amen’ I bolted for the pew that Carol and Dick were sitting in. I knew if I waited, I might lose courage.


I sat down beside Dick, and looked him in the eyes: “Dick, have you ever received Jesus Christ as your Savior?” 


“No, I haven’t.” 

“Would you like to receive Him today?” 

He didn’t hesitate: “Yes, I would!”  


I asked if he knew he was a sinner, and that he could not save himself. He said he did. I told him Jesus died for his sins, and Dick said he understood that. Right then he prayed the sinners’ prayer with me, AND Carol prayed also! (She explained later that she had prayed the prayer before, but had not fully understood what it meant.) About a year later they were both baptized.


I have learned that God really does close windows and open doors. I will see Ruby and my precious friend in Heaven. I will also spend eternity with Carol and Dick, two people I got to know as the result of a deeply disappointing situation. 

I was frustrated with the circumstances that prevented me from seeing my dying friend, but decided to channel that frustration into a positive move. Out of that decision God allowed me to lead two people to the Lord. I’m so thankful that His way is perfect!


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