August 18, 2017
John 14:19 - (Jesus said) "Yet a little while and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live."
Emily Pomeranz, a resident of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was dying.
This was her second go-round with pancreatic cancer, and there was no doubt she was losing the battle. Her friends, including one by the name of Sam Klein, would often stop by for a visit. More than once these friends asked, "Is there anything we can do? Anything we can get you?"
Well, Pomeranz put some thought into her friend's requests to provide assistance. She eventually came up with two items. So the next time Klein asked what she needed, she was able to say, "I'd like a Cleveland Indian's hat." Klein thought a hat would be no problem. The second thing on Pomeranz's list was harder. She said, "I want a Tommy's mocha milkshake."
I should tell you Tommy's Restaurant, the restaurant from which this milkshake was to come, was 400 miles away: a tough distance for any milkshake to travel.
Well, Tommy Fello, the owner of the restaurant was touched by, and started out to fulfill, Pomeranz's request. The mercy mission was assisted by a dry ice donation from an ice cream company in Cleveland. Fello made up his concoction, packed it, and paid $123 for overnight shipping to Pomeranz's room.
The mocha milkshake made it to the hospital. Pomeranz enjoyed it and talked about it for days.
Now, my question to you is this: if you were in Pomeranz's situation, and odds are that someday we will be, what will be your last request? It's quite possible the thought of a mocha milkshake might be high on your list -- nothing wrong with that. And maybe you would want a Chicago Bear's cap. That would be okay, too.
But would there be anything of a spiritual nature on your list of special requests?
Over the years, I have waited at the deathbeds of some powerful saints. These people were looking at life from a different perspective than most. No longer did they number their days in weeks and months. They were in a final countdown, and their Savior who had always been important had become more so.
These people knew that when their doctors were helpless Jesus was just beginning. And they were incredibly grateful to their Redeemer for the forgiveness He had won for them during His life, His suffering, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection. Yes, they were thankful to Him and desired to share Him with those around them, which is why I've seen their last wishes include
1. talking to family members about their faith which had been neglected;
2. mending bridges with friendships that had been washed away;
3. planning a funeral service which would bear witness to the Savior who had blessed them.
Oh, there's one other thing I should share about these folks and their last requests. To a person, each of them knew that their "last request" was really not their last. They let everyone know that because Jesus lives, they would continue to live also.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there is a time when I must say my earthly farewells. Grant that I do so bearing witness to You who has done what was necessary so these won't be my final goodbyes. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
The article upon which this devotion is based was written by Linda Hervieux for Newser on August 6, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries