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No matter how many times he had seen it, Pastor Andy Craft was never really prepared for death. As he stood next to Jim Andrew’s hospital bed and held his hand, he knew the end was near. Jim’s wife, Kelly, was str#king her husband’s f0rehead. His breath was more and more shallow and infrequent. Finally, there was a noise from his throat and then nothing. “He’s gone,” the nurse said. Kelly said nothing, just continued str#king his brow. The two children moved behind their mother, holding her. They had begun the grieving process two weeks ago when Jim suffered an aneurysm at work. They faced the difficult decision to turn off the ventilator yesterday. But even when you expect death, its finality is still a shock.
Some ministers would have immediately offered a prayer and taken control of the situation. After all, that was their job. It wasn’t Andy’s style, however. He knew the family needed this time alone and they would call him back to the room when they were ready. Experience taught him that the best thing he could do was attend to some of the practical things. He stepped out of the room and called the funeral home. He notified the church’s senior pastor, Cynthia Thompson, and then called some of the family’s friends who had told him they wanted to be notified.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later, Jim Jr. found him in the visitor’s lounge, and draped his arm over his shoulder. “Thanks for all you’ve done, Andy. We all appreciate it.”
“How’s your mother, Jim?”
“You know Mom. She deals with things by staying busy and taking charge. She’s trying to comfort Becky and the grandkids, calling the rest of the relatives. I told her you’d taken care of the funeral home. Of course, she said, ‘He didn’t have to do that,’ but tomorrow she’ll appreciate it.” Jim collapsed into Andy’s arms, softly sobbing, “He was a good dad.”
“The best,” Andy said. “Is there anything I can do, Jim?”
Drying his eyes, Jim said, “Why don’t you come in and say a prayer. I think we need that right now.” Andy returned to the room and read a few verses from the Bible and prayed a prayer of comfort. Becky asked him if her dad was in heaven.
“Of course he is, Becky. Of course he is. He’s going to be watching you, cheering at the kids’ soccer games, watching you kick butt in the courtroom.”….Continue Reading On The Next Page,Go Below This Page CLICK>>>>2