Right By Her Side
Today's angel-themed Miracle Monday is the testimony of Sister Ida Verducci from the Niles Ohio Branch. Special thanks to Brother Frank Natoli for sharing this one. If you haven't submitted your story yet, please share with us!
Sister Ida, who has been called home to her reward, related the following experience to me over 30 years ago when she was in her late 70s or early 80s. But before I share her testimony, a little background and perspective might help...
Sister Ida may be one of the most humble women I've ever met. She lived alone in a small, three-room home. She had no telephone (this was before cells phone existed) or TV, and I often wondered how a widowed, elderly, feeble sister could live alone and care for herself – but she did.
She spoke broken English with a high feeble sounding voice and often included a few Italian words along with her English. This combination made it hard to understand her at times, but it never seemed to matter. She always greeted me at her front door with a smile and loving embrace and would stop whatever she was doing to sit and talk about the goodness of God. I was always amazed by the fact that every Sunday morning we would find her standing at her door, waiting to be picked up for Sunday school.
She had little income, and various members of the church would stop by her remote house during the week to bring her food or just look in on her to ensure she was doing OK or to offer to bring her to the store. Of course, she didn't own a car, and, in retrospect, I doubt all of her earthly possessions — including her home and its contents — were worth $10,000. By U.S. standards, she lived at a poverty level, but I never once heard her complain or even ask for assistance!
One summer day when I stopped to see her, I found her sitting in a chair reading scripture with reading glasses and a magnifying glass. We sat and spoke for a few minutes, and she began to tell me an experience she had a number of years earlier.
"One day, I felt sick and went to bed to lie down and rest. I quickly grew more and more ill. So weak that I couldn't even get up from my bed. I had no telephone or way to contact the elders to come and pray and anoint me, so I began to pray, asking Jesus to take care of me in my time of need.
"Hours passed and I grew worse and worse. I was alone. In this condition, I prayed harder and harder. Suddenly, a man walked into my room dressed in white. He quietly sat on my bed by my side and picked up my hand and held it. For three days and three nights, this personage stayed by my bed, holding my hand.
On the third day, my health was restored, and I was strong enough to get out of bed. The personage told me he had to leave now and that I would be alright."
Although Sister Ida was given to see the heavenly personage by her bedside, we all need to be reminded from time to time that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that with a strong hand and with a stretched out arm His mercy endures forever (Psalms 136:12).
Summer Reading Challenge Daily Assignment
Jacob 4-5 (Chapter 5 is a whammie. Digest it in small bits.)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.