The story is told of an overworked nurse who escorted a tired young man to her patient’s bedside. Leaning over and speaking loudly to the elderly patient, she said, “Your son is here.” With great effort the patient’s unfocussed eyes opened, then flickered shut again.
The young man squeezed the aged hand in his and sat beside the bed. Throughout the night he sat there holding the old man’s hand, praying for and with him and whispering words of comfort.
By morning’s light the patient had died. The nurse stepped over to the young man’s side and began to offer sympathy — but he interrupted her.
“Who was that man?” he asked humbly.
The startled nurse replied, “I thought he was
“No, he was not my father,” he answered.
“I never saw him before in my life.”
“Then, why didn’t you say something when I
took you to him?”
“I realized he needed his son and his son
wasn’t here,” the man explained. I sensed that he needed me — so I
stayed and prayed for him.”
Ministry is different for everyone. This unknown young man lived the gospel by giving of his time to someone he had never met before and left before anyone could hear his name. I’m sure his ministry to this one man received a standing ovation in heaven while here on earth no one knew.