AMOST JOINED SHARON
As I lay in the Covid isolation wing of Ronald Regan Emergency Hospital for a second full day, the attending doctor told me that the trajectory of my Covid pneumonia was not good. She then asked what I wanted to have happen if my oxygen level continued to drop, requiring more and more high flow, nasal supplemental oxygen. I had already make it clear that I did not want the drug Remdesivir or to be put on mechanical ventilation (ventilator).
I responded to the doctor that if I declined further, I would prefer to be put on hospice, as Sharon had been a little more than two weeks earlier before she passed into Heaven. The thought of being with her brought me a sense of joy, knowing that she is in the presence of Jesus, and entered into His promise of eternal life.
“I WANT TO SEE THE BABY”
But something happened as I woke up the next morning. My first thought was, “I want to see the baby!” In the few days before Jesus came for Sharon, she kept asking Linus Jr., as she slipped in and out of consciousness, “Is the baby here yet?” Linus would respond, “No Mom. Dani still has three months to go.”
Sharon would fall back to sleep but when she awoke again, she would ask the same question, and Linus Jr. would give the same reply. She so loved our children and grandchildren, and was looking forward to meeting grandchild number 17, Linus and Dani’s third child.
As I began my third full day in the hospital with needles in both arms and an oxygen tube in my nose, Sharon’s desire and last words about the baby began to resonate in my heart and mind, and I began to think, “I want to see the baby!”
WORK TO COMPLETE
I then began to think of other things things that God called Sharon and me to do that I was meant to continue. I began to think about my roles as a father and grandfather with our family; I began to think about our ministry to equip leaders with Global Training Network; I began to think about the NO BS BS I lead and the plan to edit the 108 studies on “Where the Western World turned off from a Judeo-Christian Theistic Worldview.”
I was aware that my family and friends in many places were praying for my recovery, and the resignation that my life was about to end, began to give way to a sense that I was supposed to stay and compete the unfinished ministry God had entrusted to us.
That third day in the ER my condition stabilized, and in the two days that followed, I required less and less supplemental oxygen. Then on the sixth day of my hospitalization, the same doctor who said my trajectory didn’t look good, asked if I would like to go home, and I was discharged.
My friend Rich Rider texted me saying, “Janie and I were so saddened to hear the news of Sharon’s passing and your battle with Covid but thankful for your recovery. I take this as a sign of some unfinished business for you.” This added to my sense that God was speaking to me.
Since being discharged from the hospital, I have been working on regaining my strength, and I am coughing less and less. I still have a way to go in terms of recovery but I am making progress and leaning into the “unfinished business” God called me/us to do.
Among other things, I am taking a deep dive into leading a verse-by-verse study of the Gospel of Mark, along with a group of friends and a study we call the NO BS BS.
Another long-term friend, Sue Paulson, sent me the following calligraphy that spurs me on:
Please pray as I continue to “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”— and that I might be worthy of the words of Jesus in John 17:4: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”
“Straining toward what [the unfinished business] is ahead” with gratitude for your prayers and partnership,