But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42
Mehta and Theodore (not their real names) had been childhood sweethearts.
As adults, they were married and had begun a wonderful life together. That was until they found out Theodore had cancer ... a cancer which had spread to a number of his internal organs. The doctors said they could do nothing and predicted that 28-year-old Theodore had about a month to live.
Mehta was understandably distraught.
But she was also determined. She was determined to make good use of the time the two had together. As a result, she wrote to an online website and asked people who had been in her situation how they had spent their time with a dying loved one. She wanted to know what worked and what didn't -- what provided comfort and what might be unnecessary.
A good many suggestions came in.
Some of those suggestions which Mehta followed are take lots of photos of your loved one doing common, everyday things; have your loved one make video recordings for special birthdays and events; find out where your husband has all his information, his computer passwords, his insurance policies.
Together the couple spoke about the possibility of her finding a new love. They made a scrapbook; ate their favorite foods; had a picnic on their apartment balcony; and threw him a party where no tears were allowed, but kind words and gag gifts were welcome. He wore his favorite shirts for a few days at a time so she would be able to remember what he smelled like. (Guys, you won't understand that last one, but ask a lady and she will explain.)
It was an interesting list, in many ways a beautiful list, but to my way of thinking, it was still an incomplete list. That which I found wanting in the list is referenced in our text above. This couple had done everything they could to prepare for their earthly farewell, but they had missed the one thing which was necessary.
As far as I can tell, there is no reference to spirituality in the article.
Now it is possible their relationship with the Savior had always been in place, and it's also possible it was too personal to share, but it's also possible they just didn't talk about life and death and sin and the need for a Savior.
Well, I can't change what happened to Mehta and Theodore, but I can encourage all of our husbands and wives to assure each other of their faith in the Savior. If there is no faith in the Savior, it is time to take care of the one thing which is really, truly needful.
Take care of it now because the knowledge of a reunion in heaven is the best comfort you can give to someone you are leaving behind.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the Savior whose entire life was dedicated to saving me. May I share Him with others, especially the important "others" in my life. In Jesus' Name I ask that this sharing be blessed. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries