The Last Prayer-Chapter Three

Immediately after the car accident that had terminated the life of Luke, his body was released and sent to the medical facility for his organs to be removed. They were to be stored for the people who were on the waiting list and were a match with a compatible blood type. An urgent call came in for a person who was waiting for a heart. It was a man in his middle forties who had been waiting for quite a few years to receive a heart from a donor whose blood type was compatible to his.
Lester Wallace was his name. He had been a very prominent and wealthy man who had inherited a fortune from his father. Both his wealth and prominence in the small southern town where he lived were generational. They were what some termed as “old money” and prestige. His great grandfather had founded a textile business that had started small and grew exponentially over the years (due to the great demand for the fabric they produced). Lester was the 4th Wallace to take the helm of the family business; his father had suffered a stroke that rendered him both mentally and physically unable to run the multimillion-dollar enterprise. Nevertheless, he had discovered that he needed a new heart if he had any hopes of staying alive. When the news came that a new heart was available and, on the way, he and his family were extremely elated and relieved that a match had been made available. Regrettably, Lester was not only old school when it came to money and prominence, but he was also a sophisticated racist who had grown up in a culture and environment that firmly embraced a belief in white supremacy and segregation. He was reluctant to hire blacks at his textile plant. He only did so to avoid a class action lawsuit. Even then it was only a token few who were not given the same wages and opportunities for promotion or supervisory positions as their white counterparts. Lester was very civic minded and a member of the board of a few non-profit organizations in his locale. Also, he was on the board of deacons at the church he had been a member of all his life. Nevertheless, though he was a regular attendee, along with his wife and children, and had even been baptized when he was a young teenager, he had truly never accepted Christ into his heart as his Lord and Savior.
There was an elderly black woman who had been employed by the family for over 50 years as a clean-up person and babysitter when they needed her. In all actuality, she had helped to raise Lester and his younger brother and sister. They often referred to her as Nanny Nelly. Nanny Nelly was a very devout Christian and had been so ever since she was a young girl. Lester and his entire family were very fond of the elderly black woman and actually regarded her as one of the family. Nanny Nelly was very bold and outspoken about her faith and would often say to Lester, “Mr. Lester, I know you go to church about every Sunday, but are you truly saved?” Lester would always respond by telling her that he had gotten baptized when he was a teenager. Not being satisfied with that answer, she would invariably say, “Mr. Lester, you know that I’ve known you for a long, long time and helped your parents to raise you, your brother, and sister. I love you all as if you were my own children. I do not want you to be lost.” Lester would always avoid answering her question by either changing the subject or quickly leaving her presence by pretending that he had some urgent business to attend. However, he could not escape the thought of her bothersome question that continued to echo within his mind.
One night while he slept, he had a very disturbing and frightening dream. In the dream, he was being operated on. During the surgical procedure to replace his original heart with the new one that someone had graciously donated to him, he died. When he awakened, he was petrified by the environment that he was in. Somehow, he was able to discern and deduce that this horrible place was what the Bible had described as hell. His senses were still intact perhaps more so than they had ever been. In utter shock, he could hear the sound of people hollering and screaming as though they were in excruciating agony and pain. The place smelled like sulfur and there was a stifling odor that burned Lester’s nostrils. He heard the groaning and moaning of a multitude of people but could not see them (due to the gross darkness that permeated the entire place). Suddenly, as he grappled with the reality of his predicament, a mysterious man came to him from out of nowhere. This other worldly person spoke to Lester’s mind telepathically and told him he was in this place of the damned and doomed because he had never accepted the One sent from
God to atone for his sins. Lester instantly knew that he was talking about Jesus Christ and that though he had been baptized and joined the church he had been bought up in, he never truly accepted Christ into his heart as his Lord and Savior.
He wept bitterly for his mistake and cried out to God for a second chance. His crying and pleading became so loud and intense that it awakened his wife who shook him to wake him from his dream. She inquired of him was he having a nightmare. Though it was nightmarish, Lester was convinced that the Lord had spoken to him in the dream.
It was Sunday morning and his heart transplant surgery was scheduled to be performed on Tuesday. Lester got up with a glitter in his eyes and a glow on his face as he prepared to go to church. His family could not avoid noticing that there was something different about him on that that they had never seen before. There was an excitement and eagerness to attend church that had been completely foreign to Lester that seemed to possess him now. The minister’s sermon was thought provoking as usual. As his custom was, he made a plea to anyone who would be willing to stand and step forward to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. There was a great hush, a sacred silence within the church as Lester rushed to the front of the spellbound congregation with all eyes fastened on him as he stood before the pastor along with a few others (who were led in the sinner’s prayer). When the prayer had ended and there were only a few dry eyes in the congregation, Lester asked the pastor if he could permit him to say a few words of which he consented. Without any intimidation or reservation, he said, “All of these years, ever since I got baptized as a teenager, I thought I was saved. However, it was not until last night that the Lord showed me that I was not truly born again and that if I had died, I would have landed right in hell. On Tuesday, I will be getting a new physical heart if the procedure goes well and if my Lord is willing. Today, I got a new spiritual heart and Christ truly lives within me and I am ready for whatever His will is.”
Join me next week for Chapter Four.

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