"The doctor told me I need to enjoy every moment with Evelyn. She is failing."
Comer told me this dry-eyed. We had spent the past two hours talking over his WWII memories for my book. I was exhausted by the constant writing, as well as by the often horrific events he recounted. My head ached and I wanted to leave.
"All those people on the Alzheimers floor...I don't know how they live," he said, "Half of them are out of their heads, some are 80 pounds, they don't eat, can barely move. Evelyn is doing poorly...I can see it myself. The doctor told me I need to live for the moment."
"You know, that is really how we all should live every day, every one of us," I told Comer, "Cherishing each moment we have."
I had been gathering my things, standing to go when he dropped that cheery news on me.
"I always believed in God," said Comer, "But I never really thought much about Jesus. Walt talked with me about Jesus, and I still don't really understand, but I do believe. What do you make of Jesus?"
I sat back down.
"Well, I didn't use to believe. And then when my son was born, I looked at him, and I knew, I just knew there had to be a God. And a God who made a creation like that...He had to love us. If I came across a watch lying on the ground, I would KNOW there was an intelligent designer. That's how I felt when I looked at my baby. That baby was designed."
"I agree," said Comer, "But that empty tomb...that big stone rolled away? How can you believe that?"
I laughed, "As soon as you believe that there is a God and He created the universe, well, anything else He does is easy to believe. Rolling a stone would not be a problem."
"But why Jesus...?" asked Comer.
His old dear face looked honestly puzzled. I know my presence helped fill a lonely day, but he wasn't holding me there to bide away the hours. He wanted to know.
"I don't have all the answers," I told my friend, "But I know that God is so big and so impossible to grasp that to be able to understand Him, it helps to picture Him as a man. I mean, if I were an ant, I could not understand anything but another ant. And if I want to feel what an ant feels and relate perfectly to an ant...I would have to be an ant."
Comer laughed, "That makes sense."
"If God came as a man, then He would experience all the struggles that a man experienced. We would know that He truly understood what we as humans endure. But it is a mystery. The Bible says Jesus is fully God and fully man. He had to be a man to understand us and relate to us and struggle like us, but he had to be God to save us."
"I never used to pray...then I prayed to God...and now I pray to Jesus," said Comer, "And I pray all the time."
"I think that life would be unbearable at times," I said, "If i didn't have the hope of Heaven, that there is a better place and one day we will be there."
Comer looked thoughtful, not sad, just pensive. He pointed to the picture of he and Evelyn, and their newborn daughter, taken 45 years ago.
"I have had a good life," he said, "Those were happy days."
My phone beeped. Arvo had sent me a text message. My sister in law's Mother had died. We knew it was coming soon, but it was sad nonetheless.
I stood again and hugged Comer, "I need to go."
"I sure look forward to these visits," he said, struggling to his feet.
I could not have come up with another intelligent theological argument if my life depended on it. I felt bone weary.
"Do you remember when we were on a luncheon car drive with Evelyn, early on," I said, " and she was still aware enough to know that something was wrong? She said she knew that she was loved, eternally loved, but she was so confused. And then she said, 'I don't know anything!' And I told her, 'But you just told me you know you are eternally loved!' and she told me yes...and then we sang ' Jesus Loves Me'. "
Comer laughed, "I don't remember that very well."
"I do," I said, "I wrote about it because it touched me so deeply at the time."
My head pounded and my arms ached from all the writing.
"I will come again next week," I told Comer, as he hobbled next to me, opening the door.
"I'll be here," he said.
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
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