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“It was really irritating the first night,” Jacqueline told me. “But then I got up at three a.m. and spoke to her. I touched her face and prayed for her. Then she quieted down.”
One of the nurses had come in while Jacqueline was praying for Rosita. She told Jacqueline, “Maybe that’s why you got a lung infection. So you could be in this room, for her.” After that, Jacqueline was no longer annoyed by Rosita’s nighttime moans and groans. She realized she was there for a purpose.
The day after my visit, Jacqueline called to say her lung infection looked like pneumonia, so they were keeping her for several more days. She had also learned Rosita was supposed to be on another floor. “But they don’t have space for her down there,” Jacqueline told me. “Where?” I asked. “The end-of-life floor. That’s where she’s supposed to be. I don’t know what to do, Little Brother.” That’s what Jacqueline calls me. I like it.
I didn’t know sickle cell was a fatal disease—that it could take a twenty-four-year-old woman with a six-year-old son. Jacqueline was surprised too. “What do I say to her? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
I told Jacqueline, “Jesus’ body is in heaven now. He is using your hands to love Rosita. So just spend time with her. Tell her about Him, and let Him use you to comfort her.”
The next day, I went back to the hospital. Jacqueline held Rosita’s hand while I read Psalm 18. We talked about how encouraging it is that our cries for mercy reach God’s ears—that God is never too busy to listen and respond to calls for help. We talked about heaven, and Christ, and salvation. And then Rosita smiled as she prayed to receive Christ. It was all God’s work. He put Jacqueline in that room and brought me to visit. He worked in the heart of a dying young woman to help her see her sin and need for a Savior. God alone saved her soul. But He let Jacqueline and me be a part of His work (see 1 Corinthians 3:5–9).
Jacqueline was nervous about moving into Rosita’s life. I’m sure many of you can relate. Perhaps you feel God can’t use you in significant ways. Maybe you feel untrained or too ordinary to make a difference in someone’s life. If you are God’s child, however, you are an instrument He can use for His purposes (see 1 Corinthians 1:26–31).
Do you remember how God used a little slave girl in the household of Naaman the leper? Naaman was a rich, arrogant Syrian general. He had few concrete needs in his life—until he got leprosy. (Read his story in 2 Kings 5.) That tangible need opened the door of Naaman’s heart so he could learn some intangible things about himself.
God’s renovation of Naaman’s life began with an Israeli girl, a slave taken in battle. She told Naaman’s wife about a prophet in Israel named Elisha who could heal him. Naaman’s first lesson in humility was to listen to the most unlikely teacher of all, a young slave girl. She was a messenger of hope to a man broken inside and out.
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