Jesus said

“I am the light of the world”

It Happened One Christmas


    Marne never spoke a word to me. She was not a typical Nursing Home Resident. Now, perhaps in her mid-50’s, there were only traces of what had once been a lovely woman. She bore the look of one who had lived a hard life, succumbed to illness, and was now in the grip of the final enemy. Marne was dying.

    I knew Marne because she was in the same room as my friend, Anna, a sweet Christian lady who had attended the Sunday A.M. SonShine Class regularly until she could no longer do so. Anna, too, was dying.

    Since Anna could no longer attend the SonShine Class, I used to visit her quite regularly in her room. I would smile and nod to Marne as I passed her bed to visit Anna but there was no response. Occasionally, Marne would have company. They would be quite loud with false cheerfulness. Their words, “You’ll soon be up and out of here,” were forced and it was obvious that neither they nor Marne really believed what they were saying.

    What a dramatic contrast these two roommates made. Marne was dying “without hope”. Anna was dying with the “Blessed Hope”. Marne looked miserable. Anna truly looked forward with joy to meeting her Saviour.

    It was noon on a Christmas Day. I was visiting some of my special friends and this, of course, included Anna. As I nodded and passed Marne’s bed, I sensed a “difference” in her. After visiting a while with Anna, I saw Marne looking at me with an intense, searching look. “Do you want to see me?” I asked. She nodded, I went over and felt led to get right to the point. “Do you want to talk about your soul?” She nodded. I proceeded with-our sin-God’s penalty-Christ’s redemption. “Do you understand?” She nodded. I quoted John 3:16. “Marne, do you believe in Him?” She nodded. I prayed the “Penitent’s Prayer”. “Did you pray with me, Marne?” She nodded and seemed at peace.

    This happened about noon on a Tuesday, Christmas Day. The next Sunday morning when I arrived at the Nursing Home, I asked the nurse at the desk about Marne. Her answer, “Marne isn’t with us anymore. She died at 2:00 o’clock Christmas Day.”

    My own personal belief is that God saw Marne’s penitent heart long before I saw her searching eyes and that His loving heart had already forgiven and received her. But, it was a special joy to be able to give her assurance and peace in her last hours here.

Herm Haakenson

“Bits of Sonshine” Dec/Jan 1993
“Bits of Sonshine” Dec/Jan 2003