Elsbeth looked at Aaron as he lay in the hospital bed, his fading life bolstered by oxygen, intravenous drips and beeping monitors.

Why had God sent this dear old man her way, only to take him away again so soon? She had learned to trust His ways over the many years since her first childhood steps into faith, very often understanding much later the purposes in the sad things. Today however she did not understand. She loved Aaron and did not want him to go yet. They had prayed so hard for him and were still doing so, but increasingly aware that perhaps the answer might be “no”.

She remembered Aaron's first halting approaches towards her, the quick glances, the awkward exchanges, the hurried departures. She had seen him many times before and wondered at this sad man with the twinkle in his eye.

Now he lay there, approaching the full stop of his life when it should be the beginning of his eternal life. She had tried to talk to him about God but he was evasive and she did not want to press the issue. But now it was urgent and she felt a sense of growing despair.

Her daydream ended and she saw Aaron looking at her, smiling weakly. “Hello you”, he said.

She wanted to cry, but smiled back bravely.

“Don't be sad.”

Her heart wanted to break into a thousand pieces, but she had to to this now.

“Aaron, you need to make peace with your Maker.”

He breathed a laboured sighed, “Elsbeth, you know I can't make up thoughts and feelings that aren't there.”

“I know Aaron,” she replied, “but if you can't believe the testimony of others, believe mine. Do you trust me?”

He looked at her for a long time, thinking about Joe, his girls, his life.

“I do.”

She stayed with him for the rest of the afternoon, holding his hand while he slept, joined later by Liesel and Jojo.

Then suddenly he awoke, looking startled. He gazed at them, his girls, and smiled one last time, his eyes declaring an eternal love.