From Hell To Heaven In Maseno

Her hospital bed was shabby. At least she had sheets but there was only a cheap hard blanket to cover her. She could neither eat nor drink, and even though she was on the drip, she looked very dehydrated. A wretched bundle of shrunken misery, a cry of shame on humankind seemed to disappear in the hollow of her mattress.

She was restless. With her eyes half closed she was moaning softly, but at times she cried out in a loud, anguished scream. She must have been in so much pain. She was hot with fever and her lips were dry and caked.

I gently wiped her face and her mouth and I stroked her hair. She was a simple woman from the countryside and I doubt she would have understood English even if she had not been half unconscious, but the heart has a language independent of the tongue. I laid my hands on her, and quietly I talked to her about God and his love. I knew her soul would hear me even if she did not. And as my love and my peace flowed into her as a warm, soothing energy, her moaning gradually subsided. At last it stopped altogether.

I sensed angels surrounding us while I talked softly about God, the Ground of our being in whom we are one, and about the love of Jesus, who carries us in his arms. He was so close...

My one hand rested on her shoulder and with the other one I held hers. Slowly, I began to lose the sense of my hands and they seemed to dissolve until they were like clouds of warm energy.

My whole body tingled. It became warmer and lighter, and it was as if my skin did not confine me anymore. I expanded into a limitless energy of love and warmth as our Jesus merged with me and filled the room.

Suddenly the silence was broken by a soft sound. I thought she was moaning in pain again, but she was not.

Radiating heat with fever, and with a voice that croaked because of the dehydration and the respiratory infections, she was singing, at first hardly audible, but then louder,

"Thank you, Jesus."

She sang words in her own language that I did not understand, but a few English words kept coming back as a refrain,

"Thank you, Mungu (God). Thank you, Jesus."

In all her unbearable pain of body and heart, she sang for him. This poor creature, rejected by most of her fellow humans, by the earth, and by life itself, in her utter dejection was lifted outside herself as she overcame it all and praised and thanked her Creator whom she must have loved since the beginning of time.

I held her, with tears streaming over my face. Her sister was crying next to me and for a long time we sat without saying anything. The last word had been spoken. I knew she was now free to go.