He Saw Jesus' Face
© Betty Sue Eaton
He removed the oxygen tubes from his nose and said with absolute awe, "Ma, who is that man
over there? I don't think I have ever met him in my room! He is so beautiful! He is so bright!"
Those were the words my son, Richard said the day he lapsed into a coma before his death
later that night. I looked toward the wall where he was pointing and saw no one! I just thought it
was another hallucination of the cancer that wracked his body and mind as it had many times
before in the recent days as I visited him for the last time.

Once he "saw" part of a gold chain lying on the floor and tried to leave his bed to get it. I told
him I would get it for him. He rested. Then his hand began to move across the sheets as
though he were keying a computer keyboard while the other one scanned down an imagined
list of items he was reading from. He owned a computer service company so it was in character
for him to be concerned with it. It was no coincidence that he would see a non-existent person
standing at the side of his bed either. I say "non-existent person" because I couldn't see what
he saw!

We had talked many times at length about heaven, and Christ, and God, and salvation, so
many other things related to the hereafter. One topic was a recent one: That his eldest son had
died in a motorcycle accident a year before. Barrett was not a Christian. Richard had tried to
reach his son without positive results ~ or so he thought. However, as he was going through
Barrett's effects, he found a Christian tract in the wallet. He knew then that Barrett had been
saved but had not finalized it by accepting Christ as his savior publicly and being baptized.

I told Richard that I could not go through the grief of losing his son for him. That this was one
that Mama couldn't fix for him. He would have to go through this one himself, but I would go
through it with him. He just said, "Ma, I'm okay with Barrett's death. I know he is at home with
God and Christ in heaven! I asked God to take care of him and He did! He took my son home!"

Was it coincidence that my son would see Christ standing in his hospital room? Was he really
seeing our savior as he transitioned from our world into the holy presence of our Lord God? If I
were to judge from the look of pure rapture on his face and in his voice, and I do, I would have
no doubt that Richard was seeing the face of Jesus leading him into the presence of God the
Father as we spoke!

Was it coincidence that I witnessed that moment? That I was present in the room as my son
gazed upon the face of Jesus Christ? Absolutely not! For the past two years and eight months,
I had gone from blaming a family genetic anomaly to blaming God for the impending death of
my only son. I was very angry and helpless as I was forced to stand by and watch my son dying
by degrees of renal cancer, helpless to do anything to help reverse the ultimate end or ease his
pain.

There are no coincidences with God. He orders everything in our lives. Every thing! Life,
mates, children, career, and death. Not only does He order everything for those who die but for
those of us who remain to live out God's plan for the rest of our lives. I needed to be shown the
power of His will. I needed, like Thomas, to see the nail prints in His hands almost. So what I
witnessed in my son that day brought about an epiphany in my life, a total turnabout and
acceptance of Christ dying for me and now living in me! That day totally changed my belief
system about heaven and dying. That was no coincidence! It was Christ teaching me a lesson
that I needed to learn! And I learned it well! It still thrills me today ten years later!

So my dear grieving friends, as I told my son upon the death of his son, “I cannot go
through (the work of) grieving for you, but I can and will go through it with you with all my
prayers that you may find peace and comfort with your loss. I cannot say that I will never feel
sad or lost or lonely at another death in my family, but I will say that the grief will not be selfish
or self centered as before because I know that my dear absent loved one is at peace with our
Lord in heaven, and I would not want them to wait another day in pain for that supreme joy. I
can hardly wait for my own homecoming to experience what I saw in my son's face that day.
What an incredibly happy day that will be!

It is my prayer for you that you also may see the Lord's face through your prayers and that you
will find the ultimate peace and comfort through our savior, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins.
He promised and He will never fail in that promise.


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