I met this 90 years old lady on a medical ward in a medium size hospital in north Sweden.
She was a wonderful, unselfish, kind and loving person. Suddenly she told me that she had turned blind during the last few years, but she was content and happy to move on into afterlife. When we spoke about God and the importance of prayers she told me the following true story from her life.
‘My husband had left me and I was alone on the farm with four children. It was so hard. Every day I felt sorry that I had to send my oldest son into foster care, but then when he was 9 years old, it was finally time for him to come back home. He was so happy that he just kept jumping up and down when he left the train at the station.
One day he went down the river to go fishing with another boy. Suddenly the other boy came running back, pale and scared to death. He pointed towards the river, he could hardly speak. I started running and when I got down to the river I found my son dead. He had drowned in the river only nine years old. It almost broke my heart!
The following Christmas seemed to be unusually hard. Despite my hard work on the farm we had run out of cash, and there was nothing I could buy for me and my children. We didn’t even have food enough to make it through the Christmas. I then started praying, and asked the Lord to help us survive over Christmas. Little did I know that he was going to answer my prayers so soon!
When Christmas Eve came we had hardly anything left to eat. It was bitterly cold and it had started to snow. Suddenly in the morning I heard someone banging on the front door!
‘I am sorry to bother Mam, I am looking for shelter during Christmas’, the pleasant gentleman said outside my front door. He looked genuinely kind, and I felt miserable having to turn him away.
‘I am sorry but I have neither food nor anything else to offer. I am very poor. I do apologize’, she said. He then smiled back and pulled out no less than 100 dollars of his pocket and said; ‘Oh, don’t you worry! I will pay for all the trouble! Do you think this will cover for food and shelter’, he asked whilst handing over the staggering amount of money.
‘He was invited in and stayed over Christmas. He came as a true blessing sent by heaven. Since then I have always said that prayers can be answered sooner than you anticipate’, she said.
The old lady smiled and gently squeezed my hand when I left.
Illustration by Dedic Risalahati, Indonesia Text by Dr M Westerlund