Straight Paths

Pearl enrolled in our hospice service with Parkinson’s disease, but her gentle gracious spirit still shined through the disease that enshrouded her. I visited Pearl and the family on the day that she died in the nursing home, but it wasn’t until four years later that I got to hear “the rest of the story” from her husband, Carlos, and their three daughters, Judy, Karen and Vicki.

Vicki recounted: “It was about fourteen years ago, back when mom just got saved and was studying the Bible a lot. Mom had only been a Christian for about a year. She and dad got saved at the same time. When my granddaughter, Kelsey, was about a year old, mom and I were in the back yard watching the kids play. We were standing by the back porch.” Carlos interjected, “I built that porch for Pearl.” Vicki continued; “Mom and I were talking and all at once Kelsey jumped off the porch towards me. It caught us by surprise. We had no idea she was going to jump. I turned around just in time to catch her. Then Mom told me, ‘That’s the kind of faith that God wants us to have in Him; to trust Him to catch us.’”

Pearl’s divinely inspired insight reminds me of the song, “What If”, by Nicole Nordeman: “What if you’re right? He was just another nice guy…What if it’s true? They say the cross will only make a fool out of you…What if He takes His place in history with all the prophets and the kings who taught us love and came in peace, but then the story ends? What then…What if you pick apart the logic and begin to poke the holes? What if the crown of thorns is no more than folklore that must be told, and retold? But what if you’re wrong? What if there’s more? What if there’s hope you’ve never dreamed of hoping for? What if you jump; just close your eyes? What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?

“Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3-4)

Loren Hardin is a social worker with SOMC-Hospice and can be reached at 740-357-6091 or at You can order Loren’s book, “Straight Paths: Insights for living from those who have finished the course” at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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