The Most Important Question

This week one of my patients died.  I met him on Monday.  When I first meet a patient, that first visit is usually 30-40 minutes.  I spent nearly three hours with this patient.  Within the first five minutes, he said to me, “Let me ask you a question, and I hope it doesn’t offend you.”  The question was simple.

“Are you are born-again believer, having trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”

I enthusiastically said yes.  We spent the next several hours discussing faith in Christ, world affairs, and politics before ending our visit (we mostly talked about faith).  This patient was totally at peace with his eternal future.  He wanted others to be at peace with theirs (the oxygen delivery guy was asked the same question).  Before I left, I prayed with him, and we both looked forward to our next visit.  I didn’t think it would be so soon.

He took a turn for the worse Monday night.  I visited him Tuesday afternoon.  He was in great pain, but was able to look me in the eye and joke, “Sorry I’m not such good company today.”  I assured him it was OK, and once again prayed with him, asking God to bring him peace of mind and body.  I left to allow his family to spend time with him.  An hour later, I returned.  Not as a chaplain, but as a bereavement coordinator.  He had passed, peacefully.

During my first visit, the patient pulled out one of the gospel tracts that he carried with him at all times.  For years, he had passed out these tracts and asked people that most important question.  I don’t know how much success he had.  Some of us may consider his method old-school or ineffective.  Maybe it was.  But here’s what I know.

He did something.

He asked the most important question.  He asked it while he still had time, all the way up to his dying day.

What are we doing?


About Aaron

Aaron is a follower of Jesus. He's married to his smokin' hot wife Laura and is the father of three adorable girls. He enjoys a robust cigar, a complex root beer, a good movie, writing, football, thought-provoking books, and rousing discussions about subjects you're not supposed to talk about (like theology and politics). Religious people irritate him (because he once was one). He's on a quest to find the perfect dry rub and sauce for ribs.
This entry was posted in Intentional Random Thoughts, Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Most Important Question

  1. Koffijah says:

    Bad methods that are used are always more effective than good methods that are not used. The only important thing, really, is what motivated him to do it at all–his confident living faith.

    • Aaron says:

      Right on, K. Right on.

    • Stuart says:

      “Bad methods that are used are always more effective than good methods that are not used.” Are they though?

      We can have good intentions and bring about bad results.

      I do not like tracts. They misrepresent the gospel imo. I believe that they can effectively turn people further away.

      That being said, I still think they can have a positive effect with some people.

      So, I don’t really hate on people who use them. But if I used them, I feel like it’d be nothing more than a cheap way to alleviate guilt.

      I find your story about your experience encouraging.

      • Aaron says:

        Hey Stuart,

        When this guy was in his twenties (50 years ago), tracts were cutting edge. I think this guy did what he knew best how to do. From talking with him, it wasn’t about guilt at all. It was out of conviction that Jesus is Lord. And he did this for nearly 50 years. Was it as effective now as it was then? Probably not. The point is simply he did something, whereas most people do nothing.

  2. Pingback: What Happens in G-Vegas… « The Road Less Traveled

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