The Lady on the Bed


It was Sunday afternoon. My wife and I had returned from Church and were having our lunch. After lunch, I started doing some household chores. Late in the afternoon, my uncle and aunt arrived to our house. They had come to visit us and were visiting some other relatives also around the Bay Area. My uncle asked me if it was possible to take him to a long distant relative’s house who was suffering from cancer. I thought; “Why not? Let's do this!” I took my car keys but because my father had blocked my car, I ended up driving my uncle's car which was a Honda Accord. After dropping off my aunt at my sister's house, me and my uncle started our journey to the long distant relative's house. We found the house easily using google maps. I am thankful to God for google maps. It's just so accurate, precise and fast. Just need good data signal and plan. Me and my uncle stepped out of the car and saw a clear sign in front of the house saying beware of dogs. Well, you all know what that means. Me and my uncle tried knocking on the garage door and shouting at no avail. Finally, my uncle put in the courage to open the gate and step inside the yard to approach the main door. He gave me clear instructions to watch out for any dog and if he was chased to close it as soon as he came out. My uncle went inside the yard and knocked on the door once, then a second time. Finally, an old woman opened the door and my uncle introduced himself and asked for the relative by his name. The old woman opened the door and my uncle signaled me to come inside. We both went in and I saw an old man in his early seventies siting on the sofa in a very comfortable manner. My uncle approached him and I could see the smile on the old man's face as he greeted my uncle and hugged him. He was sure glad to see my uncle. They talked for some time while I watched the Kapil Sharma Show and laughed myself almost to the floor. Yes, that show is that good. I apologize but I have no idea what the name of the old man was. He was suffering from cancer and had gone through a lot of suffering through the doctor's hands. Well, he acknowledged the fact that the doctors were only trying to help him by hurting him at full strength. Personally, I thought the old man looked healthy while going through all that therapy stuff. The old woman brought us some tea which I drank with a thankful heart. As I sipped on the tea, the Lord started talking to me in my spirit urging me to witness about Him to this man suffering from cancer; to at least say a word of prayer. I sat still not sure what to do. It's not that I did not want to witness about the Lord or to pray for him, I just could not. I looked around inside the house and saw photos of multiple Hindu God's. I felt weak, so weak spiritually not wanting to even say a word as the two men engaged in an old-style conversation filled with advisory but still religious talk. The conversation closed with a good bye and some hugs. The old man thanked me and my uncle for taking out the time to visit him. In Indian culture, it is very important to visit the elderly especially when they are going through some major-medical problem. It's a way of honoring them and showing respect. Believe it or not, you’re just being there means the whole world to them. In a way, it encourages them to fight on; it's kind of like saying we are standing right beside you. Don't give up till the curtain closes even if the doctors have given up; there is still hope in God; there is still hope in prayer. 


On our way, back home, my uncle asked about an old relative, an old lady who was in the elderly home care unit. I informed him that I was aware of where she is and it has been in my heart to visit her for some time. He asked if we could make a stop on my way back to which I quickly agreed. I parked his car at the side of the road and we both went inside the elderly home care unit. We signed in at the reception and asked in which room the old lady was residing at. After being directed, we went inside to find the room. As we entered the room, we saw three elderly women on the three bedrooms that were placed inside the room. There was a TV on the wall and two of them were watching it. The lady on the last bed was asleep. Truth be told, me and my uncle though for sure we were in the wrong room. One of the ladies watching the TV looked at us and said that she was there on the last bed. As me and my uncle approached the lady on the third bed, we could not believe what we saw. It was the relative we were looking for but she was beyond our recognition. She was all shriveled up in the bed. Her hands, both were curled inwards due to arthritis. Her face was so dull as if all life was gone. I felt like opening my mouth and shouting at the top of my voice, “God help!” I tried but could not even move a muscle. My uncle and I stood there silently in disbelieve as if we were looking at a stranger. Could this really be, I mean really be the lady whom I had met some years back, so energetic and frisky. Now she lay there like a vegetable before our very eyes and I really had no word in my mouth. My uncle tried talking to her, gave her a small shake. She opened her dried eyes looking at us as if we were strangers. My uncle tried to explain to her who we were and asked her if she recognized us and how she was. Her response remained the same. I stood still with not even the slightest idea what I should say or do or even think. The lady on the bed kept looking at us with no clue who we were. Was this a good time to lament? The picture of the Old Testament prophet came to my mind as I write these. When something bad happened, how they would tear their clothes and cry out loudly for days till they had no more strength or tear left; how they wore sack clothes and put ashes on their head. Was I supposed to do that? My head stopped working, I could not think straight, I could not even pray or comfort or whatever we are supposed to do in this kind of situation. After multiple unsuccessful attempts by my uncle to communicate with the old lady on the bed, he finally gave up and signaled me to leave. We left thinking and talking about the condition of this relative. My uncle said inside the room that all will be well to her. Now he said to me that it probably is for the best if God takes her home. I felt his heart drop inside the room, come to worse, he held every tear back. I did also. What good would crying do? I left without praying and witnessing God one more time. The Lord did speak to my heart. I regret leaving the lady in the room in the dark with no hope, no shimmer of light. What was to come tomorrow, I do not know. And yet again I failed once more or was it yet again another attempt by God to wake me up spiritually and show me clearly that without Christ, all is a waste. For without Him, there is no life and where there is no life, all hope is eventually gone regardless of what you believe! 


I advise all who read this, please do not hold yourself back from witnessing about Jesus to all you meet. I have failed many times and this is not one of my strengths. This still does not change the fact that God wants us to tell. Every opportunity missed might as well be a soul lost. We need to become more focused on what Christ said. Let's look at some of His words right before He ascended to heaven. 


Matthew 28:19-20 NASBS

[19] Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


In the above verse, we learn that Jesus instructs us to make disciples. But how can one make disciples without witnessing Christ. Therefore, before we can make disciples, we need to preach the Gospel and once they believe, discipleship follows! Amen! 


Let's look at another verse: 


Mark 16:15 (NASB)

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.


In the above verse, once again we are commanded by Jesus to preach the gospel to everyone. I think some folks get confused as to what the gospel is and what exactly they are to say to the non-believer without offending them or causing any form of argument and quarrel. Truth be told, we all have inner struggles in this regard and at times we try to hide our inner conviction and conscience from telling about Jesus to those we encounter. Does God understand this? Of course, He does! But still this does not qualify as a valid reason for not telling. At this point, I would like to talk about what exactly the Gospel message is. In simple terms, it is John 3:16; the most common scripture which almost every believer knows by heart. Let's have a quick look at this scripture:


John 3:16 (NASB)

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.


In the above passage, there are some key points which I would like us all to note:


  1. God loves you.
  2. Sin separates us from God. 
  3. To restore our fellowship, God gave His one and only Son, Jesus Christ as a ransom for our sins. 
  4. By acknowledging the fact that we are sinners; turning away from our sinful ways, and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are born into God's family and receive external or everlasting life. 
  5. From here on begins the new believer's journey of knowing and following the God of the Bible.


You may ask: "Is it that simple?" My answer to you would be, "Yes, it is, unless you try to make it complicated for yourself." Always remember this one vital aspect of God, "He is not the author of confusion" - 1 Cor 14:33. The above is a simple and clear overview of the Gospel message Christians should be sharing with the non-believers. You may quickly question one more time, " Brother Raj, but what if they don't believe". Here's my answer to all those facing this dilemma, "That's not your problem. As a matter of fact, that is God's problem. God instructed us to tell, not to convince everyone by force or against their free will to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God will never violate this gift of free will which man have the power to use either for good or for evil, to do right or to do wrong, to say God thy will be done or to say God my will be done."


There are two major points I have made above. Here is a summary:


  1. Every Christian is commanded and expected by God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every non-believer they encounter. 
  2. What exactly is the Gospel Message?


Now that I have formed a foundation on what God expects and what to preach, let's move onto the two people I encountered. The first man was a cancer patient and the second was the lady on the bed. Let us first talk about the cancer patient. Think about what I could have done differently. Here's what I think would have been a good approach to use for witnessing to the cancer patient step by step:


The Cancer Patient:


  1. Pray before visiting and ask the Holy Spirit for help.
  2. Greet the elderly man after being welcomed into his house. 
  3. Asked how he was doing and how his treatment was going.
  4. Ask what the doctors were planning on doing in the future. 
  5. Share some healing testimonies about yourself or those which took place in your church. 
  6. Preach the Good News about Jesus Christ.
  7. Offer prayer. (Considering he allowed me to pray, I would move to the next step)
  8. Invite the elderly man to come to your church for prayer by your Pastor. 
  9. Upon reaching home, pray once again for the elderly man.
  10. Follow up with the elderly man to come to the Sunday service on Saturday and offer to pick him up from his house. 
  11. On Sunday, pick up the elderly man and bring him to church at least 15 minutes before and introduce him to your Pastor for prayer and spiritual advice.
  12. Work with your Pastor moving forward. 


Now let's review what I could have done differently for the lady on the bed.


The Lady on the Bed:


  1. Pray before visiting and ask the Holy Spirit for help.
  2. Once you are inside the room, greet and introduce yourself. 
  3. Try to tell her some stories which might make her remember who you were. 
  4. Share the Good News about Jesus Christ.
  5. Ask her if she wants to believe in Jesus. If yes, proceed to the next step.
  6. Say a prayer of salvation for her, asking her to repeat or agree with what you are praying.
  7. Ask her what would be the best time and day to see her again. Give your contact information to her and also take her phone number to follow-up.
  8. Say good bye and tell her that you will visit her again soon. 
  9. Get your Pastor involved. On your next visit, bring your Pastor with you to pray and witness to her. 
  10. Plan to visit the lady as needed together with your Pastor.  


I had given the above article to be reviewed by my Pastor and have made corrections as suggested. I hope it is a blessing to all who read it. Please feel free to share this article with others through social media so that it becomes a blessing to them as well. Thank you for reading.


Brother Raj

Rhema Bible Church

Hayward, CA