When I entered the barren land, suddenly, my husband began gasping for breath. Leon muttered a faint sound and then fell over backward. Do I detect a faint heartbeat? I thought Oh God, let my beloved live, I prayed in my heart.
I stole a glance at my watch as the minutes slowly ticked by. Finally, the ambulance arrived. “Please God,” I pleaded, “if it be your will, let Leon live.” In the meantime, the medical technicians tried desperately to revive my husband.
At last the driver crawled in the ambulance and started it up. As I waited, I mulled over the past year A brown recluse spider bit Leon on the ankle in December 1986—the creature that incited him to panic! Leon’s leg turned crimson from the bite on his thigh to his ankle.
We went to Baylor Hospital for treatment of the spider bite. The bill overwhelmed me. As we cast it upon the Lord, He encouraged me. Then he supplied the funds through a relative.
Later, when the doctor told us that he might have to operate, the news did not dismay me. The poison reached up to the muscle, but no farther! God healed the wound, and the doctor decided against surgery.
On January 7, 1987, with a fever of 103o F. Leon installed a ball-bearing in his car. This occurred a week of sickness, but, of course, ball-bearings will not wait.
The next day Leon saw the doctor. “You’ll have to stay in the hospital,” he informed my husband. “You have erysipelas.” The doctor found no cause. Did the spider bring it on or an ultramicroscopic infection?
The infection flared up three times in a six-month period. Twice he had to stay in the hospital and miss more days from work without pay.
Once Leon endured a swelling which moved around his head, apparently staph, but the doctors failed to make a clear diagnosis.
This time Leon lost weight. He entered the house looking like an old man. I scarcely recognized him. With home cooking, his cheeks fattened up again. Then he looked and acted like his old self.
The hour in that waiting room seemed like an eternity. Finally, the doctor walked up to me, “Mrs. Wallace?”
“Your husband just passed away. He died of a massive heart attack. We did everything we could to save him.”
Numbly, I reached for the phone and dialed my neighbor. “Leon’s gone.” Words escaped me as I entered the barren land.
“We’ll be right there to get you,” I walked about in a daze.
Slowly, reality dawned upon me. As God had made us one flesh, I felt like part of me departed with my Leon. God comforted my aching heart. “My child, I have promoted Leon to glory.” This drew me closer to Heaven as I reflected that Leon no longer suffered.
However, Leon died young—he was only 62. As I missed him, I wept at the graveside. A violin played some of his favorite songs.
What could I do now that Leon had departed for Heaven? Surely, I thought, this will take much prayer. A few nights later, as I communed with God, He spoke to me. The pastor spoke about writing. The Lord said, “Lynn, I want you to write for me.” I love to write, and I surrendered to His will. Springs of living water sprang up in my soul.
After Leon’s homegoing, I learned His company had a life insurance policy for him. Thus God supplied the money for the final hospital will and other expenses.
Naturally, I miss Leon. When things go wrong, I long for his gentle touch on my shoulder. In this dry and barren place, I lean harder on my blessed Lord.
Staying busy keeps the pain of separation from becoming unbearable. Communing daily with my precious Lord refreshes me with a life-giving stream.
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Lynn Wallace is an author, speaker and Christian educator. Lynn portrays God’s healing power from depression and shares practical principles from God’s Word.