Jerry (not his real name) was a highly accomplished scientist who thought very logically and did not believe in God.
“You can imagine, then, how difficult it was when he developed MS—multiple sclerosis,” said Rev. Stan De Vries, a hospice chaplain in Minnesota for the Christian Reformed Church’s Chaplaincy and Care Ministry.
When De Vries began to visit Jerry as his hospice chaplain, he was totally bedridden and fearful.
“Jerry grew up in a Jewish family, but his scientific mind had long ago concluded that you cannot prove or disprove God’s existence,” said De Vries.
Still, Jerry loved to talk about anything and everything, including his fears. He began to reconsider his scientific assumptions about the existence of a God.
At one point, Jerry said: “Time is short and I have one last chance.” He tried to formulate a prayer to God but couldn’t find the words.
De Vries said to him, “Are you requesting to know that there is a God who cares about you and will not let you suffer for a long time.” His reply? “I think you hit the nail on the head.”
De Vries asked if he needed the assurance that God accepted him with all his brilliance and faults. He agreed.
As he spoke of God's forgiveness and acceptance, the chaplain said, “When God forgives us, there is nothing left to condemn us.”
Jerry replied, “I hope so.”
Jerry didn’t want De Vries to leave that day. The chaplain stayed awhile longer. Then he touched his forehead and gave him a final blessing.