Friday, May 8, 2009

Thank you Jesus, I'm ready


Brandon Fiagle was a member of Emmaus Ministries' Kaio Community, a group of volunteers who live in community and help in Emmaus' mission to reach out to men caught up in prostitution. Deacon John Green, the founder of Emmaus Ministries tells this story in his latest newsletter.
Darryl, one of our guys, was in the hospital with just two months to live. On the night Brandon visited Darryl, he found him alert but anxious. Even though he was growing visibly tired, he was reluctant to leave his chair and get into bed.

Darryl admitted that he wasn't ready to die. He was afraid of the unknown. Afraid to be alone. And afraid that if he got into bed, it would be for the last time. Eventually, Brandon persuaded Darryl that he had nothing to fear and stayed with him until he fell asleep in his bed.

The next day, Brandon heard that Darryl had taken a turn for the worse. That night, Brandon returned to the hospital, intending to quietly slip in, pray, and slip out again. He made his way to Darryl's room, where he found his dying friend semi-conscious, moaning and distressed.

"I grew uncomfortable as Darryl's moans continued to become louder," Brandon told me. "If only a little, I began to understand some of the helplessness that Darryl had talked about the night before. As I started to think that I should leave, Darryl shouted a very loud, 'Hi!' It wasn't only loud, but high-pitched, funny, and even childlike."

As Darryl began conversing, Brandon realized that the exuberant greeting wasn't for him. In a pure and innocent manner, Darryl began to repeat, "Thank you, Jesus. I love you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, I'm ready. Take me with you, Jesus, take me home." Just hours later, Darryl passed away in peace.

Brandon never knew if Darryl was even aware of his presence. But he knew that God was present in that room and that He was there for Darryl.
I''ve heard many near death experiences, but somehow the story of the passing of this lost child of God brings me as much comfort as any of those. I will keep Brandon and Darryl in my prayers.

For information on Emmaus Ministries, check out www.streets.org.

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