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A Good Pastor at the Hour of Death

How one pastor was blessed by the pastoral care of another.

I have preached more funerals than I care to remember. I have held countless anxious hands and consoled more than a few grieving hearts. Recently, the tables turned and the anxious hands and grieving heart were my own.

One wintery day in January, I helped my dad from his wheelchair into the front seat of my car. He despised having to use the wheelchair, but the chronic illnesses he battled gracefully for the previous decade had taken their toll. Dad looked at me with his head drooping to one side and said, "Everything's falling apart." As the elders in my church would say, Dad was "getting ready."

On a Monday in March, after a particularly difficult weekend, I took Dad to the hospital and learned he had acute renal failure. The physician told me that Dad probably had less than six months to live. I had known Dad's health would never improve significantly, but I wasn't ready to face the fact that he wouldn't come home again. Two weeks later, at the end of a faithful life and a courageous ...

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