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Watching My Son’s Death Bed - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time in the city of Los Angeles, the only son of a young widow lay sick in bed.
   “Isn’t there anything you can do for him”, his mother asked the doctor outside her son’s bedroom door. Taking care that her son didn’t hear.
   “I’m sorry. We’ve done all that medical science can do”.
   The young widow wept uncontrollably even though she was fighting to regain control.
   She had just lost her husband recently. Now was she going to lose her son too? 
   The doctor had told her that her son had less than two more days to live.
   That night she sat at her son’s bedside keeping him company and trying to steal back each second that painfully slipped away.
   The boy looked into his Mum’s eyes and said, “Don’t worry Mum I know God would heal me. He is my healer and according to his word; by his stripes I am healed. God never lies. He has never lied to anyone. So don’t worry about me Mum, I would get better”.
   Tear drops grew bigger under his Mum’s eyelids as she tried not to sob out loud.
   She didn’t believe in God and she certainly didn’t believe in divine healing, but she knew her son always did.
   Her son was dying. She didn’t want to debate with him on the existence of God. Not now. Not while he is on his death bed.
   If God were real she thought, would he be letting her watch her son die? Would he be letting her watch helplessly like she watched her husband slip away not too long ago?
   Anger burnt in her heart towards God and all those preachers on TV who wear designer suits and talk about God loving everyone. But she made sure she didn't show it. Why crush her son’s hope? Why take away her son’s smile on his dying bed? She couldn't let him know what she was really thinking.
   “Yeah! honey, God is doing what he does”, His mum said, doubting every vowel of every word as she spoke.
   “Totally, Mum. You can always count on him”, her son replied.  “I heard what the doctor said, but I don’t believe him. It is God who has the final say, and I know he doesn’t want me to die so I won’t die”.
   Her heart ached as she heard those words. She blamed herself for not being careful enough to prevent her son from hearing what the doctor said.
   Suddenly her son’s face lit up with excitement. “Mum, there is this 3 day miracle crusade coming to town. It starts tomorrow. Can I go?”.
   “No !” his Mum barked out. Then realising she has perhaps been too hasty. She started to explain, “Honey, you see I would love for you to get well and no one would love to see you well more than me. But these miracle crusade preachers are just con-artists making money off innocent people. The miracles are not real, they are all fake. They pay those people to get on stage and lie that they were suffering from one incurable disease or the other but after the preacher prayed or touched them they got healed. It’s just a scam”.
   Her son’s eyes burned with anger. He looked as if he had been insulted. “It’s real!”, he said firmly, “It’s real Mum, whether you like it or not, it’s real”.
   His mum didn’t know what to say. Tense silence floated across the room.
   She tried to change the subject. “Would you like some milk and cookies?” his Mum asked.
  “Don’t try to change the subject”, her son retorted. “God is real. Jesus is real and that means divine healing is real too. I taught you wanted me to get well Mum?”
   “I do”, his Mum answered swiftly.
   “Then why are you stopping me from going to a miracle crusade where I would get well?”
   His Mum knew she was really stepping on sensitive soil. She couldn’t afford to use the wrong words. She couldn’t afford to taint the last days of her dying son with even a tiny speck of unhappiness.
   “Honey, you have to understand  ...” she started.
   “No it is you who doesn’t understand”, he said, interrupting her. “You are signing my death warrant. You don’t want be to get better. You want me to die”.
   “Not true!”, his mum cried out, feeling like she has just been called the worst Mum of all times and didn’t have any evidence to prove otherwise. “I love you, more –“
   “Yeah right”, her son cut in.
   It hurt her to hear those words coming out of the lips of her son as he lay on his dying bed. A sudden sharp pain gripped her heart and let go in a flash. Now she was crying. “Honey, I want to  ...” she bit back the words, “… I want to”, she paused and wiped the tears rolling down her checks with the back of her trembling hand. “… I want us to spend these last days together”.
   “Well Mum I want to get well”, her son replied angrily. “I didn’t know you’ve already dug my grave. I’m not dead yet and I won’t die if you let me go for the crusade.”
   Inspite of the fact that she knew she loved her son, she also knew that from his perspective all he would see is a mother who is trying to stop him from living on planet earth – a mother who is taking the gift of life away from him. A mother who hates him.
   It was like a mother, giving birth to a child, waiting for him to grow to the age of accountability and then committing an abortion. This is what he was feeling now, and his understanding told him she hated him.
   The more she tried to explain, the more he drew away. Oh! If she could only make him get it that there were no such things as miracles. The whole thing made her hate God and miracle preachers more. These con-artists on TV have deceived her son and caused this misunderstand between her and the only family she had left. They were trying to steal this crucial time she had to spend with her son on one of their schemes. The whole miracle crusade thing is just to make money and now her son is taking about patronizing these con-artists. Oh! How she hated them even more. Each precious second that slipped away drew her son closer to his last breath. These precious moments should be spent lovingly. It meant a lot. It would paint the last picture she had of him. Would it now be a picture of arguments and disagreements, all because of these miracle preachers? Ooh!
   It killed her to see the seconds slip away. She wished she could freeze time so she could save her son from the inevitable.
   The argument grew cold and ended with the establishment that he would not attend the miracle crusade.
   That night while alone, her son made a few phone calls to a few friends.
   On the next day which was his last day on earth, according to the doctor. His friends came knocking on the front door.
   His mum opened the door. They were here to see him for the last time. They didn’t have to say anything. She saw it in their eyes.
   His friends spent quite a while in his room. His mum alerted them that she is going to the grocery store to buy a few things to cook a special meal. His friends would probably be staying for dinner. It certainly looked like it.
   As soon as she stepped out the front door, the secret plan was put in motion.
   25 minutes later, he and his friends were at the crusade. He was lying on a stretcher beside his friends as the world renowned healing minister mounted the pulpit.
   Expectations were high. The atmosphere was charged. He lay there believing for a miracle.
   The sermon was awesome and uplifting. He could feel the power of God in the atmosphere and he was sure everyone else did. It was so strong – he could feel it as though it had become tangible.
   He looked around him and noticed the multitude of people around him that were sick in the section of the crusade ground he was in. He wondered how many sick and needy people were present in every section of the crusade ground.
   Pity and compassion filled his heart when he saw people with all sorts of different medical conditions.
   Like him, they had all come for one thing: to be healed by God.
   He forgot about himself, he couldn’t think of himself when he saw the conditions of those who needed healing miracles around him. Most even looked worse than him and some looked like every next breath they take could be their last.
   He lay there on his stretcher praying for others – praying that God would heal them.
   At a certain point of the sermon, the healing minister stopped abruptly and asked the choir to start singing. He said it was something about him following the leading of the Holy Ghost.
   Spontaneously, miracles started happening around the crusade grounds. Crutches were been raised, people were clapping, some were screaming, some were dancing, some couldn’t stop commenting about what they were seeing.
   Miracles had started happening and he too should be getting one. He had disobeyed his mum to get here. He had been through a lot already, and if he didn’t receive a miracle, he wouldn’t see tomorrow morning’s sunlight. God had to heal him.
   As time went by, other miracles kept taking place and the healing minister had started welcoming people up the pulpit to testify of the breath taking miracles they had received.
   As he lay there on the stretcher, he noticed his friends had their fingers crossed. He knew what was going on. He knew they were hoping he would be among those who would receive a miracle.
   He then noticed that most of the people he had prayed for had been healed. There weren’t many sick people around him anymore. They must be standing in the testimony line; waiting for their turn to give their testimony.
   Very soon he would receive his own miracle. He knew it. He just knew it.
   More songs were sung. More testimonies were given. The crusade for that day came to an end and he wasn’t healed. He would die tomorrow.
   His friends sadly carried him back home. His Mum waited for them at the front door. Angry? What was the point? She knew the boy had only a few minutes left, under different circumstances she should have scolded him but he had only a few minutes to see her boy alive. The look in her eyes said what her lips didn’t say: I told you it was a scam, now you are still sick even after you went.
   That night his Mum fell asleep in a chair beside his bed. He was not going to be alive the next morning.
   He kept thinking about his life as the night got deeper. He started crying. He cried softly so he wouldn’t wake up his Mum. If she saw him cry, it would only make her cry and worsen her pain.
   He started thinking about the sermon from the crusade. He couldn’t sleep. He just kept pondering about what had been preached.
   After a while his tears were totally dry. He didn’t see a reason to be sad. He was feeling better.
   He kept thinking about what was preached then he started muttering to himself, “by his stripes we were healed”, “by his stripes we were healed”, over and over again. He got lost meditating in the meaning of the words. Until his voice increased. He wasn’t conscious of this world. Whatever was happening was deeply spiritual. He felt like he was being elevated by a spiritual force. Being glorified. Lifted higher into a bright white light.
   His Mum woke up, her mouth dropped open as she stared in surprise.
   He was standing out of his bed. Not only standing but walking.
   His mum was stunned. He was supposed to be dying. He was supposed to be dead, but he’s walking  - doing something the sickness had long taken the ability to do.
   He paced about the floor praying in tongues, he got louder and it looked as if the more he did so, the stronger he got. The stronger each step got – the surer each step got.
   The minutes went by and he just kept praying.
   One hour later he stopped. He was looking healthy and strong. Tears flowed freely from his mum’s eyes. She knew she couldn’t explain what happened but she knew God had healed him – God had healed her son.
   She became a follower of Jesus that day and followed him to the second day of the crusade. She stood beside her son during testimony time and told everyone the whole story.
   Today, they both live the life of strong followers of Christ. Telling everyone about Jesus at the slightest chance they get.
                                                              THE END.

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