D L Henderson
4 min readNov 17, 2023

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The Comforter

November 15, 2023

This is another of my essays from the 1970’s. This one from around 1979. Major edits are bracketed { }…

I am bound and determined to share my testimony about Jesus Christ. Know why? He saved my life!

Last fall I was on my deathbed. I was only about 29 years old when I had a very severe organ failure (acute hemorrhaging pancreatitis). The surgeons gave little hope for my survival. But people prayed. Faith mixed with love, and God intervened in answer to their prayers.

I remember one morning waking up after two surgeries and now in the ICU with internal bleeding, tubes stuck in me everywhere, fevers, delirium — {one time I thought I was on fire}. Also, there was intravenous feeding — wasting away to skin and bones — {the first time I looked in a mirror, I looked like a Concentration Camp survivor — I had come into the ER at almost 200 pounds and left the hospital at 124.}

There had been weeks of intensive care and much discouragement. *

I remember one special morning, waking up at sunrise and seeing the clouds which formed a cross in the sky, red from the morning sunrise. {This must have happened in Recovery, after my ordeal in the ICU, since the ICU had no windows. It was Jesus!

Jesus knows all about suffering.

Then, I dozed off, and when I woke up again, looking out the window, there was a beautiful rainbow. God’s promises! God’s faithfulness! The God of all comfort was comforting me!

Now I can say, “Whether I live or die, God is faithful.” So, when I do die, when I stand before God, I want to know that I did everything possible to share with you that Jesus loves you. Yes. You.

If you or someone you know needs comfort from the God of all comfort, begin to talk to Him right where you are. No special words are needed. If you are seeking assurance of your salvation, the forgiveness of your sins, or your eternal destiny, ask Jesus to forgive you and come into your life in a very real way so that you know that you know that you know. If you are not sure about these things, continue talking to Jesus until you have prayed through and get a response.

* — {Please allow me to add add an epilogue, a special anecdote that means a lot to me:

{Let me backtrack for a moment. The day I got sick, the EMT’s got me to the ER. The pain I had was like a hot knife stabbing me in the gut repeatedly. It was so bad, it forced me to scream. There were others in the ER and I tried as hard as I could not to holler, but I just couldn’t. I finally asked God, “Why me, Lord. Why me?!?” Then. I heard a quiet voice answer calmly, “Why anybody?” And I became quiet.

While in the ICU, one night I woke up — at least, it seemed very much like I was awake — and there was a man who came into my room wearing a nurse’s blue hospital smock with a Hospital name tag pinned to it. He introduced himself as Sam. He was a young Black Man, and he began to relate his experience to me:

He had died, and found himself standing before God with a hobo stick draped over his shoulder with the typical small red handkerchief “suitcase.” Then, he said that God told him that his job on Earth was not finished, and so, God was sending him back to Earth. Then the man lay down in the bed next to me. I thought that maybe he was on break. Anyways, I fell asleep, and when I woke up, the man had gone. He had kind of given me a parable that maybe God was not finished with me yet, either. Somewhat excited about the nighttime visitor, I related the story to the Nurses. Immediately, their eyes got real big, and they hurriedly rushed out to get the Head Nurse. They quizzed me over and over to describe what they considered to be an apparent intruder.

They are very, very particular about who comes into the ICU. They got Security involved and very anxiously sought out who this person could have been.

There was none.

Everybody, including me, was baffled!

Much later, when I came back to the Hospital as a Visitors’ Guide, I went to the floor where the ICU was located. The whole Unit seemed much smaller than I had remembered. In fact, my actual room was so small that there was no room whatsoever for another Hospital bed, and the Doctors and Nurses had just enough room to attend to their jobs. There was not an inch of extra room for my nighttime visitor! Yet, I know my visitor was real and not part of any hallucination.

Believe it or not, since it is your choice, anyways.}

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between