People certainly have some strange ideas regarding death. If friends are on their death bed, some folks think they shouldn’t have visitors other than themselves. That’s the situation I faced in 1981 when the minister of the house church I attended lay dying from skin cancer.
I admired Brother Herald, not his real name, since I first attended his Bible study in 1971. Though he once said that God wouldn’t heal my eyes because I lusted for sight, I still considered this man as a friend. Consequently, I felt deeply concerned when he was diagnosed with skin cancer in the spring of 1980.
I wanted to spend more time with Brother Herald but Sister Roberta, an elder at the house church, prevented me most of the times when I wanted to visit him. From her vantage point, I was a troublesome kid who would just be a nuisance to him.
Sister Roberta’s low opinion of me was obvious one Sunday in August. Brother Herald was hospitalized due to the cancer reappearing. When I asked to visit him with her and her daughter, Sister Roberta objected. “He doesn’t want a lot of fuss over him,” she explained. “He doesn’t want to be bothered by your impertinent questions.”
When I pointed out that I had been a loyal member of the church and that I had the right to visit my minister, she relented but with bad grace.
The Wednesday we visited Brother Herald, the two women monopolized our time with him. I only had a few words with my minister before they interrupted.
When I heard that Brother Herald was very weak and might not live for much longer, Sister Roberta flatly refused my request to come along with them to see Brother Herald again. As I didn’t know the address of the hospital or the room number, I wasn’t able to see him before he passed.
Looking back on those days, I see clearly that Sister Roberta was in love with Brother Herald. Ever since I joined that toxic church, she acted as his guard dog. Her low opinion of me often caused friction between us. In the end, it was her indirect way of lecturing me from the pulpit that was the proverbial last straw. I left and never attended another service there again.
Now that I know that God isn’t a bully who holds healing just out of reach of his children while they try to jump up high enough to take it, I want others to know his real character. I also learned from genuine Bible scholars and teachers how to read the Bible for all it’s worth. This is why I wrote How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. This testimony of the Lord’s providential leading is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.