An Encouraging Word...
A Great Day?
Ed Phillips died last night. It was the end of a great day. I know that may sound callous to speak of the day of Ed’s death in positive terms. Certainly it was a sad day for all of us who loved Ed and can hardly think of life without him. But I believe that yesterday God showed His faithfulness to His special son.
Ed began the day at White Plains hospital. The night before, those who visited or spoke to Ed on the phone thought that he sounded somewhat upbeat. Like the energizer bunny it seemed like Ed would just keep going and going.
But Tuesday morning, while Ed was still in the hospital, he took an obvious turn for the worse. Because, there was nothing they could do for Ed at the hospital, they released him to go home. Ed’s cousin, Jane, who always made sure Ed was well cared for, had arranged things for Ed’s arrival. She had his bed set up in the dining room where he could receive visitors and still be able to look out the large window at his garden in the back yard. Not long ago, Ed shared with me that, outside of God and those he loved, nothing gave him greater joy than his garden.
About 3:30 pm. I stopped by to visit Ed at his home. I prayed with him and read scripture to him. It was clear that he wasn’t doing well. So I called the Rizzis, the Mortons and Helen Green, all people who had been part of Ed’s small group a few years back. In addition, I called my wife, Sue. All dropped everything to be at Ed’s side. Although Ed was sedated and not conversant, members of the group stood around his bed singing his favorite hymns.
So Ed spent his final evening on this earth at home with his beautiful garden just outside the window and with family and a few of his closest friends from church gathered close by. Aside from listening to my singing at his bedside, Ed did not suffer. When the day was done, Ed left this life and the old home he loved for the new home that he longed for. It doesn’t end much better than that.