Finding Christ in a Hospice

Finding Christ in a Hospice

From Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul Second Dose

Finding Christ in a Hospice

Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3

Hospice is a place where terminally ill patients go, not just to die, but to live out their lives in peace, comfort, and dignity. One wealthy young lady was admitted; she was very beautiful, except the lower half of her jaw was deteriorated by the advance of the cancerous disease. For the first three months, she was very bitter, sarcastic, nasty, and abusive to the staff and all the other residents.

One day, a young LPN took the time to put some makeup on the woman’s eyes and cheeks. Then she wrapped a scarf around the woman’s lower face and led her outside where she could sit on a park bench and enjoy the warm spring sun.

Across the street, some young boys were playing baseball on a makeshift diamond. Sure enough, one of the older boys hit a foul ball and it rolled across the street and stopped at the feet of the lady sitting on the bench. A small boy, about eight years old, sauntered across the street to retrieve the ball. He picked up the ball and tossed it back across the street. Then the boy stopped and looked at the young woman for a long time. Suddenly he climbed up on the bench, hugged her, and kissed her on the forehead. “You are a very beautiful lady,” said the boy. He got down and ran back to the game.

A miraculous thing happened at that moment. All the anger and bitterness seemed to flow out of the young woman. She went back into that hospice and began to help others. With her wealth, she provided makeup and wigs for the other women and even personally helped them improve their appearances as best they could in their last days. She was a source of encouragement and joy to both staff and all the residents—the first one to share a tear, give a hug, or hold those in agony and fear.

All this happened because an LPN and a small boy became Christ to the lady when she needed it the most. This enabled her to become Christ to others.

Father Gent Ullrich as told to John Fagley

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