For over an hour, Michael, the grandson who denied the existence of the old man's God, sat beside his grandfather, holding his hand and occasionally talking softly to him, despite the lack of any response or acknowledgement from David. For the younger man, this could have one of two outcomes: either David would cheat death and rally to live awhile longer, or he would cease to exist.
The respiratory therapist came into the room carrying a tote with her supplies.
"I'm sorry, folks, but I must ask you to either leave the room or move away from the bed," she said. "It's time for Mr. Baugh's breathing treatment."
As some turned to step into the hall and others moved back from the bed, Michael gently patted his grandfather's hand and slipped his own hand away.
Suddenly, David's eyes flew open, and he reached his hand toward Michael.
"Michael!" He spoke with surprising strength. Those who were about to leave spun around to face the family patriarch. "Michael! Please, please come to Jesus." Wearied from the effort, he sank back down into the pillows and closed his eyes.
A few seconds later . . .
"Michael!" Again he stretched his hand toward his beloved grandson. "Don't wait. Come. To. Jesus!"
As if he had spent the last wisp of strength, he collapsed back into the pillows, only to rally a third time.
David entered Glory a few days later. Michael's story is a work in progress.
* * * * * * *Words have power The Word spoke the whole universe--with the notable exception of man--into being. Words can wound or heal, build or destroy, bless or curse. But there is something very special about last words. Families and friends gather near a beloved one about to pass, hoping to catch a kernel of profound wisdom. Consider the following examples:
- "This, is the last of earth. I am content." ~John Quincy Adams
- "Let's roll!" ~ Todd Beamer
- "Let me go to the house of the Father." ~ Pope John Paul II
- "Thomas Jefferson still survives." ~John Adams (Actually, Jefferson and Adams died on the same day.)
- "Turn up the lights. I don't want to go home in the dark." ~O. Henry
- "Put out the light." ~Theodore Roosevelt
- "It is well. I die hard, but I am not afraid to go." ~George Washington
- "I still live." ~Daniel Webster
As for the title of this post, "How to Die in Three Steps," one need look no further than the life--and death--of Rev. David Baugh.
- Come to Christ, repenting of your sin, acknowledging Him as God's Son, and accepting His death, burial, and resurrection as full payment for your sin.
- Live your life as a Christ-follower, seeking always to draw others to Him.
- Share His Good News as long as He gives you breath