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Diane Komp is a pediatric oncologist. She treats children who have cancer. A highly trained physician, she used to be an agnostic. That was before Anna died. Anna was a little girl who had leukemia, in the days when recovery was rare. As death came close, her parents, the hospital chaplain, and Dr. Komp gathered at her bedside.

"Before she died," Dr. Komp writes, "Anna mustered the final energy to sit up in her hospital bed and say, ’The angels--they’re so beautiful, Mommy, can you see them? Do you hear them singing? They’re so beautiful, Mommy.’ And then she lay back on her pillow and died."

The chaplain, who was uncomfortable with all this, left quickly, leaving the agnostic Dr. Komp to help these grieving Christian parents. What she remembers is that Anna’s parents were deeply comforted by what had happened, "as if they had been given the most precious gift in the world . . . Together we contemplated a spiritual mystery," says Diane Komp, "that transcended our understanding and experience." Diane Komp was an agnostic no more.

(SOURCE: from a sermon by Ray Ellis,, "Jesus Turned a Funeral Into a Celebration" 6/30/08)

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