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Thinking About Heaven

A friend of mine who was a minister in southern California told me recently of a woman in a mental sanitarium there. She'd been in the sanitarium for many years with an extreme depression. She used to just sit on a bench every day staring at the earth--no conversation, no response. And one day a new doctor who'd never seen her came down the hall and greeted her. He said, "Good morning!" She made no reply. "What is your name?" he said. No answer. "Well, my name is Doctor Heven, H-E-V-E-N, and I'll be by to see you again tomorrow." Then he started away.

But she lifted her head and said to him--and because he did not know the patient, he did not know how remarkable it was that she was saying anything at all--"What did you say your name was?"

He said, "Heven, H-E-V-E-N."

Now, somehow in the confused processes of that wounded mind, that woman confused the word Heven with the word heaven, and she began thinking about heaven. As she thought about heaven, she thought about God, and she thought of God's love made known to us Christ. The next day she said to everyone she met in the hospital, "This is the day which the Lord hath made." And the day after that, "Yea, I walk through the valley of the shadow of evil, but I fear no evil." Within six days she was saying, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Within five weeks she had been released from the hospital, and for the last fourteen years she has been carrying out her responsibilities as a leading teacher in southern California.

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