Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
I’ve been watching the old series Boston Legal lately. You might remember that every episode ends with Alan Shore and Denny Crane sitting on the balcony outside Denny’s office, drinking scotch and smoking cigars. It serves as a recap of the episode, wrapping up certain points as well as continuing to define their friendship.
Denny is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s, which he usually refers to as his Mad Cow disease. He is sometimes a lunatic and sometimes brilliant. He’s always politically incorrect. In one episode he gets Alan to promise to shoot him whenever he’s too far gone to be of any use anymore. They often profess their friendship, their love for each other. Alan quoted Emerson once: “A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.”
I was struck by a balcony scene I just saw where they agree that their friendship means they won’t ever die alone. It was poignant but not entirely true.
Whether or not we have a friend, spouse, or child in the room, we will never die alone. There will be someone there no matter what.
My pastor told me the following years ago as we discussed my mother’s recent death. He said he’s seen to incredible sights over his career that don’t always happen but often do. One was when he sat by the deathbed of an elderly, comatose woman, a member of his church. She suddenly did a perfect sit-up, stretching her arms toward the ceiling with a beautiful smile on her face. She then laid back down and died.
By the same token, he was at the death bed of an elderly man who was not a Christian. Pastor was there to comfort the family who he knew. Also comatose, the man started becoming agitated, making sounds of great fear. He kept pushing toward the head of his bed as he seemingly tried to ward something off from the foot of his bed. He died in that state of agitation and fear.
The woman likely saw Jesus coming for her and was overjoyed to see Him in person. Likewise, the man likely saw his eternal fate approaching and tried to get away.
This also reminds me of something a nurse once told me. She was working third shift and had an elderly woman to care for. She wasn’t expected to last the night. The nurse checked in periodically. The last time she went in, she was shocked to see a white dove sitting on the woman’s chest. The dove looked at her and took flight toward the door and out into the hall. She gave chase into the hall, but the dove was nowhere to be seen. She asked the cleaning woman in the hall if she saw the bird fly out of the room and where it went.
The cleaning woman said she saw nothing. When the nurse explained, the woman smiled and told her that must have seen the Dove. It sometimes comes to take peoples’ souls to heaven when they die. I’ve shared this with a couple other nurses at other hospitals, and they have also see the Dove.
My point in all this is that we will never be alone when we die. There will always be someone to see us into eternity. If you’ve accepted Jesus’ as your Savior, accepted His payment for your sins, you may well be greeted by Jesus’ Himself or maybe even the Dove, the Holy Spirit.
If you have not accepted His saving grace, you may find yourself greeted by whatever terrified that old man so.
You will not die alone. It’s up to you who you want to greet you when you pass from this world into eternity. If you haven’t accepted Jesus, I urge you to pray to Him right now. Ask Him to enter your life and forgive you. Accept His free gift of eternal life and then get yourself a Bible. Study it so as to know you Savior and God and how They designed you to live. Amend your sinful ways and live a life of gratitude for what Jesus has done for you!