It was a bright summer day that
Fourth of July. We weren't planning anything special
since I had to work later and my husband John was recuperating
from neck surgery. The following day was John's birthday
and we planned to do something that weekend.
But when he awoke, the pain was severe and he had difficulty
breathing. I called 911. The last thing we suspected
was that he had a heart condition. The doctors suggested
immediate bypass surgery.
But before they could
operate, we faced another crisis. The balloon pump that
the doctor put into the artery in my husband's leg had
cut off the circulation. A vascular surgeon was called
but I could see he was upset that he hadn't been called
sooner. If circulation wasn't restored soon, John would
lose his leg. It was too much!
"God," I said,
"this time I will not ask you to save my husband's life.
He's been through so much in the past thirty years."
But I also asked God for peace of mind, knowing that
if he did choose to take John home to heaven, I wanted
to know that John was with him. You see, in all our
years together, I didn't know how John felt about God.
I prayed: "God, give him to me whole or take his
I closed my eyes and leaned back against
the wall in the waiting room. There was a man standing
in front of me. I kept telling myself I was not asleep.
I wanted to open my eyes but I was afraid of losing
the vision. The man walked across the room and I recognized
"Jesus," I cried out - at least I think
I did - for I was speaking with my mind. He bowed to
acknowledge my presence. Then he walked to John's bedside,
reached down and touched his chest with both hands.
Then he touched both his legs, from the hips to the
knees. All the while I kept saying, "This is real, I
can't be dreaming. I know I'm not asleep."
Jesus and John were standing in front of me. Jesus had
his arm around John's shoulder. They both looked straight
into my eyes.
"Ann, you never have to worry,"
said Jesus. "John is mine now and always will be."
Then John spoke to me. "Ann, for the first time
in twenty years I'm free of pain."
I was in such
a state of amazement I could barely believe this was
happening. Again I looked into the eyes of Jesus and
with all the burning desire of a thousand questions,
I said, "Jesus, I didn't know you were so tall."
He smiled. And at that moment I was compelled to
open my eyes to make sure I was awake. It wasn't a dream.
Jesus was with my husband. He's not the small, slight
man he's always pictured as being.
finding John slipping away to heaven, I walked slowly
to his room. He lay still. My heart stopped beating.
Then he turned to me and said, "I must have fallen asleep
for a while." I stood there sputtering, wanting to tell
him what I'd seen. But what he told me took the words
right out of my mouth.
"A man came to see me
just now," John told me. "He said I wouldn't need surgery
today, and maybe I'd never need it. He touched my chest
and my legs with his hands. He reassured me that everything
would be okay."
"Jesus was with you," I shouted
at him. "I saw the whole thing from the other room."
"I didn't say it was Jesus," John protested.
Whether it was or wasn't doesn't really matter.
John kept his leg, his heart healed and he's alive two
years after that amazing hospital visitation.
The fact that John still suffers from pain does
not take away from the blessed visit that we experienced
that day in July.