A Sudden Call

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 4
The call for Tommy was sudden and final. In a moment a major stroke paralyzed his left side and rendered him speechless. A few hours later, he lies on a hospital bed—dying. Through the mercy of God his powers of sight and hearing are spared and his mind is clear. He is aware that between him and eternity only a few hours remain, and it is a terrible reality. He is not ready for death, and he dreads it.
Such utter unpreparedness is surprising, because life insurance has been Tommy's chosen profession. He has worked for years for a big insurance firm; and protection against the uncertainties of life and the certainty of death were his stock in trade.
But the fact that the hour surely comes when he must die and meet God, was something he would not think about. It could wait for that indefinite "tomorrow" which never comes.
Adding to his mental anguish is the memory of a Christian office associate who had often pressed upon him the importance of having to do with Christ about his soul. But he would not listen. The blood of Christ as the sinner's only insurance against the second death, he had resolutely ignored. He would not have Jesus then: and it is too late now. Such are his sad thoughts.
But is it too late? Are the pleadings and prayers of his friend back in the office to be forever in vain? Who dares to limit the kindness and patience of God who desires not the death of the sinner!
At this point one lone visitor enters Tommy's room and stands beside his bed. It is his old office associate, true to the end.
For "a friend loveth at all times, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Prov. 18:2424A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24). He comes with a message of hope for hopeless Tommy. It is in substance like this:
“Tommy, you know you will not get better. You know the gospel—I have told you many times. Let me tell you once more, "God loves you. He sent His son to die for you. He wants to save you now.
“Call upon Him while He is near. Pray the publican's prayer. Here, I will read it to you from the Bible: 'God be merciful to me a sinner.'
"God knows you cannot speak; but you can believe in your heart. Be like the publican lift your good arm in faith to God. He will see and hear, and forgive all your sins for Jesus' sake. And I will meet you in heaven.”
Tommy tries to speak, but he cannot move his lips. So with eyes full of tears, he raises his right hand (the other is paralyzed) and strikes himself on the chest. Then he lifts the arm heavenwards.
At this point, Tommy's wife and daughter enter the room. His considerate friend leaves.
That night Tommy's soul went to be with his Savior—"a brand plucked from the burning.”
The following evening Tommy's earthly remains lie in a casket in the funeral home. Among the mourners stands his old friend from the office. He is in serious conversation with Tommy's heart-broken wife, who tells him:
“We cannot understand Tommy's action when he was dying. He kept laying his hand on his breast and then pointing upwards. Now he has left us wondering what he was trying to say.”
“I can tell you," replied Tommy's old friend, and he rehearsed to her what had transpired in the hospital the night before.
Perhaps from the way that Tommy went home, his loved ones, too, learned the Way home. May you do the same.