Finishing Well

On my second to last day on the job, I came upon Ms. Ruby* who was anxiously trying to climb out of her wheelchair.  In the twelve years I had worked in this place, I can honestly say I had never had a conversation with her.   She was going to be 104 on her next birthday and I assumed her secret to longevity was simply staying away from people-she was not a talker and had an ability to send people from her room faster than a bullet leaving a gun.

“What is it Ms. Ruby; what do you need?” I asked. “My bed.  I’m tired.”  I gently placed her tiny frame onto her bed and helped her to lay down, yet she remained anxious, again trying to get up.  “I need to read a chapter.  Get me my book, I gotta read a chapter.” I reached for the only book on her table, her Bible.  Milky white cataracts had replaced Ms. Ruby’s once sharp eyes, and I knew she couldn’t read it herself.  I offered to read for her and to my surprise, she agreed, settling back onto the bed.  I held her hand in mine until she relaxed.  Her dark skin was soft like that of a newborn and she relaxed into the mattress as softly, I caressed the back of her hands. “How about a Psalm, Ms. Ruby?” “Ah, yes,” she smiled at the ceiling.  MsRuby I began reading and then Ms. Ruby began reciting the psalm along with me almost word for word.  When we got to the forth verse I was in tears.  Moved by witnessing this side of Ms. Ruby and her love and passion for the Word, I struggled to continue.   But with a strong voice Ms. Ruby continued from memory:

  “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life , to behold the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in his temple.”

 ” Oh yes, Lawd!”  With a toothless grin, she smiled towards the heavens. I was finally able to rejoin in the recitation and I couldn’t help but think that God had planned this grand finale Himself; sweet words from King David spoken by a woman who would no doubt finish well as the author had.

Yes and Amen.

*Ms Ruby’s name was changed to protect her privacy.

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