The Preacher’s Promise

The Preacher’s Promise
Bob Perks

“You promised. You promised me!” the young girl said as she tugged on the preachers arm.

It had been a long and difficult week. Maggie was a cornerstone of this community and many depended on her not only for what she did, but for who she was.

She was only 34. That in itself was a sad reminder that death knows no age limits. She left behind a husband and three children.

Pastor John was a frequent visitor during her last weeks. Before she was sent home, he visited her in the hospital nearly everyday. It was during one of those visits that he offered to sit with the children while Mom and Dad had some private time together.

In the waiting room down the hall Pastor John sat reading books and playing a few games.

It was then that Janine, the oldest of the three, began to ask questions. Questions most preachers are asked regularly about life, death and the hereafter, but her’s was very specific.

“Will God heal my Mom?” Janine asked unexpectedly in the middle of a story.

Pastor John suddenly became the center of attention in the room as the two other children and a few other adults all stopped what they were doing to hear his answer.

A hundred Bible quotes ran through his mind. It is a book of promises which can offer hope in any dire situation. It’s also book of instruction on how to reap the rewards of Heaven by living a life of faith.

But these young children would be lost in quotes. So Pastor John simply replied, “Yes, I promise God will heal your Mom.”

Two weeks later, on a dark, cold night in mid January, Janine’s Mom passed quietly at home surrounded by her family.

Pastor John had visited them early that day and received a phone call late in the evening telling him she had died. He rushed over to their house to be with the family.

Shortly after his arrival, Janine came downstairs. Her eyes were all red and swollen from a million tears a young child cries when they lose a parent.

Pastor John was about to speak to her when someone interrupted. Janine, still shaken by all that had happened approached the Pastor.

“You promised. You promised me!” the young girl said as she tugged on the preachers arm.

“You promised… that God would…. heal my Mom!” she shouted, her chest heaving, gasping for air between the words.

Out of all the things that a preacher must deal with, trying to explain death to a child is the most challenging.

He took her by the hand and walked into the living room. Now kneeling before her, he wiped her face and hugged her gently.

“Janine, I knew that one way or another God would heal your Mom. For all that she has been through and all the love she gave to everyone, He has kept His promise. No, her body has not been healed, but her spirit has. In doing this God takes all the pain she was experiencing, removes it and spreads it among all the people who loved her so. We then call it sorrow. That pain in your heart, because she is gone, was once a part of the pain she felt while she was here. Eventually, our sorrow turns into sadness and our sadness into understanding.” he said.

She lifted her head toward Heaven and said, “But I wanted her here, God!”

“Oh, Janine. She is still here. She is a part of you and your family. Over the next few days you will see her in the faces of all who come to mourn her loss. Over the next few years you will feel her presence in your life as you begin to grow into a fine young lady. And one day, as you walk down the aisle with the lucky young man who wins your heart, she will be in the steps you take to the alter and when you pledge your life before God. Then, if God wills it, you will see her in the faces of the children you bring into the world.”

“She is healed? I mean she’s not hurting any more?” she asked.

Now holding her shoulders and looking her in the eyes, Pastor John tells her as his own tears now flow, “She is healed, I promise.”

They hugged and cried some more.

My friend, one way or another know that God will heal us all one day… I promise.