My friend, Frank Lanthier, shared with me a moving testimony: In 1976, I had been saved for only a few months when I was involved in an accident which required me to be admitted to hospital. I was working as a structural steel welder, and one day I was working on a factory building when I slipped and fell 40 feet to the concrete floor. I was rushed to hospital with a severely injured back, and there I lay for some three months.
At the hospital I spent much of my time reading the Bible, and praying. Some time afterwards, another, much older man was admitted into the same room that I was in. I soon noticed that this man would always look intently at me whenever I was reading my Bible; but, strangely enough, whenever I looked up the man would turn his head and look away. In my enthusiasm I tried to share the Word of God with him, but the man clearly indicated to me he did not want to hear anything that I had to say on that topic.
Three weeks after this man had been brought in, the doctors determined that I needed to have surgery to remove two of my lower back discs. On the night before I was to be operated on, I was praying at night, and the Holy Spirit came so strongly upon me, clearly impressing on me that I should share the gospel with my elderly neighbor. I knew it was the Lord, and I knew I just had to obey that Voice.
Early the next morning, I was reading my Bible and contesting strongly whether I should witness again to my defiant neighbor, when I felt his gaze once again intently on my back. When I turned to look at him this time he did not turn his head away. I looked straight at this man and asked him whether he had ever contemplated giving his life to Jesus, to which he replied, no. I then asked him if he would like to accept the Lord into his life. With his gaze still fixed on me the man said clearly: “Yes.”
Surprised, I was about to say something when all of a sudden I saw my pastor entering the room. (I always wonder about this moment, and the Lord’s timing. I probably would not have known what to say next).
I excitedly told my pastor about the talk we had just had with my neighbor. My pastor said, “Tell him about your salvation experience!” With great enthusiasm, I narrated to the man how I had met the Lord and the change he had brought into my life. The man looked quietly at me. After I had finished, my pastor led him into receiving Jesus into his heart.
A few hours later, the nurses came to prepare me for my operation, and soon I was wheeled away into the theatre. The operation went successfully.
Two days later, I was recuperating in a room on another floor of the hospital, and I felt this intense desire to know about my neighbor whom we had led to the Lord. One of the nurses, who also was saved, volunteered to go check on him.
She came back a few moments later and told me: “That man you prayed for died one hour after you went in for your operation!”
The next Sunday, I am in church when this strange man comes up to me and hugs me with great emotion; and suddenly I am surrounded by a group of people whom I had never seen, all visibly moved. I am wondering what it is all about; and the man, with tears in his eyes, blurts out: “That man you were with at the hospital, the man that you led to the Lord in the hospital, was my father-in-law. We tried to tell him about the gospel for many years, but he always ridiculed us and scoffed at the gospel. We have been praying for him for twenty five years that he would give his life to Jesus! How can we ever thank you…!”