By Ben Kieffer
As part of my work representing Gospel & Gaming as the Chaplain’s Assistant at Lake Saint Charles Retirement Community, I lead a discussion group every Tuesday evening with eight of the residents. One Tuesday night as I was walking out of the lobby after the discussion and about to head home, I saw Cindy (one of the residents) as I normally do; Cindy usually hangs out in the lobby on Tuesday evenings so she can chat with her friend who works at the reception desk. Like most nights, I expected her to ask how I am, how my wife is, when the baby’s due and encourage me to be safe; in fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever left a conversation with Cindy without hearing about being safe at least 5 times. She worries. But I found out that this night would be different when the conversation took an unexpected turn. I had taken a seat next to Cindy and asked how she was doing. She told me how she was in the process of selling her parents’ house and how she misses them, but is confident that they are “up there”. We began to talk about what it means to know that we are saved and accepted into God’s kingdom.
Whether they think about it or not, having an assurance of salvation is very important for the residents at any retirement center. I was honored to get to talk with Cindy about her faith and her views on God’s salvation. She leaned over to me and said, “When my time comes, I want you to speak for me.” I wasn’t quite sure what she meant, but then she clarified that she wants me to perform the eulogy at her funeral when she passes away. I had never thought I’d have such a conversation before, but I immediately agreed.
While driving home, I thought about the phrase “speak for me,” and I was reminded how as believers we have Jesus Christ as our advocate. He stands before the Lord on our behalf, and speaks on our account. He’s not nervous, he uses all the right words, and he’s speaking for us to his father about how we have been saved and made clean.
Cindy reminds me to be careful and drive safe because she wants the best for me. “You never know what can happen out there and we just need to be careful,” she says. I remind her of Jesus as our savior and advocate because I want the best for her. The main difference though, is that while we don’t know what will happen on the road, we do know what will happen when we stand before God at the end of our days: Jesus will speak for us.