Friday, October 2, 2009

Just Stay

This story was in my email this morning, don't know if it is true, but it is sweet and convicting.
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
'Your son is here,' she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack,
he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside
the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand.
The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones,
squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair
so that the Marine could sit beside the bed.
All through the night the young Marine sat there
in the poorly lighted ward,
holding the old man's hand
and offering him words of love and strength.
Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine
move away and rest awhile.
He refused.
Whenever the nurse came
into the ward,
the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises
of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank,
the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings,
the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words..
The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died.
The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse.
While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned.
She started to offer words of sympathy,
but the Marine interrupted her.
'Who was that man?' he asked.
The nurse was startled,
'He was your father,' she answered.
'No, he wasn't,' the Marine replied.
'I never saw him before in my life..'
'Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?'
'I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son,
and his son just wasn't here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me,
I stayed.'
The next time someone needs you ... just be there.


Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe said...

Wow...that's touching.

carebear7951 said...

I got that email a while back and it really touched me too! Great thought to remember. He didn't need credit for staying...he did it because the man needed him to.

Camille said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely story. Even if it's not true...the message is timeless.

You continue to be in my prayers.

Just me~Bobbie Jo said...

WOW! Just wow!!!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

I've read this a million times and it never gets old and never loses it impact upon my heart! How wonderful how precious is the compassion in this Marine's heart! How in comparison am I? It always encourages me to go beyond myself and seek to be an expressed image of Christ love and compassion to a hurting people, a needy people...for who is without need? who has not hurt? Thanks for the gentle reminder full of powerful punch this a.m.! What a beautiful way to start Saturday a.m.!

Connie said...

Wow, sometimes we just never know what God would have us do - until it is time to do it. Beautiful story.

Gombojav Tribe said...

Catching up on blog reading today. I'm so glad I read "just one more", because this was really moving.