He was lying in gently swaying hammock muttering, ´´Í'm dying, I'm dying.´
Eighty-seven years had nearly shut both his eyes, profoundly wrinkled all his skin, severely messed up his prostrate, and done who knows what with his mind. But the friendly old man is a child of God, and all the effects of age couldn't stop my companion, or the member who brought us there, from seeing that.
We sang him a hymn and he really lit up when he heard it. ´sing me another,´´ he begged.
So we looked at each other, smiled, shrugged, and opened our hard-backed green books again.
We sang another hymn, and another. We visited every day this week, with a different member of the church accompanying us each time. Every single one of them seemed to immediately love Brother Vincent, and was willing to do anything so that he could come to church and be baptized.
His daughter, Manuela, stopped coming to church a long time ago, and is living with a man she's not married to, Jeimy. But they both got so happy to see this patriarch stop with his chorus of Í'm dying,´ put down his walking stick, and step up into the car that came to take him to church.
He supported well the physical strain of his baptism, and satisfyingly swallowed the bread and water of the Sacrament on Sunday. He even made conversation with another old man from the ward who came up to welcome him. That was so cute: two viejitos sitting together in the foyer.
All in all, it's a miracle.
We had made the goal to baptize somebody every weekend this month, but didn't have anyone ready for this week. Then, out of thin air, a member takes us to visit a less active sister, and we get to know Brother Vincent. He is able to partake of the saving ordinance of baptism, and is all the happier for it in the end. The members of the ward go above and beyond making sure that everything come to pass smoothly.
It's a miracle.
One of the many miracles I've lived this week, actually.
I don't know... it's hard to ignore now that my time in the mission is running short. But I feel like the less time there is, the more miracles I see! Things I have waited for my whole mission are happening... it's crazy.
It makes me realize that God always has more planned for us.
It also makes me think of this talk from the October General Conference, Look Ahead and Believe, from one of the church's pioneer leaders in Africa.
Whether we're like an 87-year-old man being born again, or a sister missionary who's been out awhile seeing evermore the hand of God, I testify that it is never too late to progress. This life is time to prepare to meet God (Alma 34, Book of Mormon). It is never too late to start preparing. Never too late to change.
Never too late to live miracles.
May your eye be single to the glory of God each and every day this week as you note and make miracles in your lives.