Sermon Illustrations

Saying “Good-bye” to Mom

It is Mother’s Day weekend and my mom is dying from pancreatic cancer. She is only 65 and I will miss her very much. We are a family who believes in and loves God very much. Faith is the victory that overcomes. Right now, faith is what is needed to overcome my grief. I would like to tell you our family good-bye story.

Over the last six months my parents have read their Bible together every day. They started with the Psalms and then moved on to passages concerning heaven. Mom asked Dad to read the Bible to her, even if she would slip into a coma. As we have all gathered together, our family has drawn strength from the Lord as much as from one another.

My mom has been on hospice and we were told that she would drift into a non-responsive state within 24 hours. Mom has not been able to respond much. Dad leaned over, kissed her, and told her he would be okay and that we kids would help take care of him. Mom replied, “I’m tired.” Dad told her it is okay. We gave them alone time and Dad talked to her. He came out to us and cried. He asked us to all go and say good-bye one last time. One by one we all said our good-byes and cried. When the last one was finished we gathered around her. We asked if she would like us to sing “Amazing Grace"? Her response was, “94 verses.” We began to sing and this little woman of 90 pounds began to mouth every word. No voice, but her spirit was singing. As we finished, she cried. In the strongest voice she could muster she said, “I love you.” She reached out and hugged Dad, then asked that we carry her to bed.

Her body is with us, but her eyes are closed and she no long grabs your hand. We watch now as she anxiously waits to be with the Lord she loves. Her faith preaches sermons beyond any that I preach from the pulpit. She is dying with dignity, but even greater, she is dying with the Lord. As David so beautifully said, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” While that verse has never been easy for me to understand, I think I glimpsed some of the preciousness that God sees, in the death of my mother. I will miss her. My mother taught me how to live, but now, she has taught me how to die.

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