Roy, nicknamed “Bucky,” was in his 70s when he was admitted to hospice with prostate cancer back in 1994. I’ll never forget our first meeting.
Immediately after I introduced myself, Bucky thrust his right arm up into the air and testified, “Sir, I’m just here to tell you that I’m here to serve my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He’s gone to prepare a place for me and I know that I will be there with Him. If it took cancer for me to turn to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then I’m thankful for it.”
I was only 40-years-old when I met Bucky and I wasn’t used to a 70-year-old man addressing me as “sir.” But his wife Marie explained, “But he wasn’t always like this!”
I received a handwritten letter in the mail from Bucky back in 1994, just a few weeks before he died, that explained the changes. Bucky even titled the letter, “How God, hospice and bone cancer changed our lives.”
Now here’s Bucky: “I am Roy…75-years-old and was operated on for prostate trouble when I was about 70-years-old. Later the Doctor gave me sad news, “cancer”…The P.S.A. test has rapidly increased. It has spread in my bones and I have been bed-fast since April 1994. But the good news is Nov. 23, 1993 I gave my life over to the Lord…and Dec. 26, 1993, was baptized at the Franklin Furnace, Ohio boat marina…Rev. Mike and Mr. Ruggles from The First Church of the Nazarene broke thick ice and baptized me. Hospice came to our house and accepted me as another one of their patients…God has supplied our every need through family and friends. We are grateful and thank them all. We also enjoy every visitor that comes to our home. You see…we used to live in a house, but since I met Jesus my Savior we now have a home. Faith is the foundation to a home. Without faith in God, and trusting and loving him the foundation is weak. We now have the peace that we never knew before. My wife Marie says I’m more patient and humble and everyone seems to enjoy my testimony. I have three sons and very proud of them…My family and I want to thank everyone for being so kind and good to us. God bless you all is my prayer.”
It amazes and humbles me to witness what God can do, spiritually, in one touch, that well meaning doctors, counselors and Social Workers like me, couldn’t do in a thousand years. After all, as the old nursery rhyme points out, “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” You see, only The King can do that.
Bucky’s testimony reminds me of a classic song written back in 1963 titled “He Touched Me.” The lyrics are dated but the truth is transcendent: “Shackled by a heavy burden, neath a load of guilt and shame; then the hand of Jesus touched me and now I am no longer the same…Something happened and now I know, He touched me and made me whole…”
Have you “sat on a wall”; have you, “had a great fall”? Well, Bucky’s, “just here to tell you,” you can have a, “peace,” that you, “never knew before.” But if you’re looking for an easy life you aren’t going to find it; because there isn’t one. Bucky’s last days were far from easy. In the words of the song, “Hold Us Together”, by Matt Maher: “…it don’t pay your bills; won’t buy you a home in Beverly Hills; won’t fix your life in five easy steps, ain’t the law of the land or the government. But it’s all you need; and love will hold us together; make us a shelter to weather the storm…It’s waiting for you, knocking at your door, in the moment of truth when your heart hits the floor…It’s the first day of the rest of your life.”
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.(John 16:33)