Based on a true story.
Pete, Joe and Mike openly mocked when Stan came into their hospital ward.
“Hey, Doug,” Joe called. “Yer old man is here. Do you think he’s gonna preach a sermon today?”
Doug glowered towards the door, but dropped his eyes when Stan appeared.
He muttered a few curses but managed to add “Hi, Dad,” when the tall, thin man sat down stiffly beside him.
Doug sighed inwardly: another hour of enduring his father’s obvious discomfort with how his fellow Aids patients acted up. He knew without a doubt their actions were more unnatural, their language filthier when he came around.
Doug sighed, again. Why couldn’t he just bug off? Just because I’m his son and dying of this creepy disease is no reason for him to stick around.
“You, okay, son?”
“Same as usual: no better, no worse,” he lied, although he knew perfectly well his life was ebbing out of him.
“Is there anything I can do to help?” Stan sat with his hands tightly folded on his lap and Doug, as well as several others took note of the look of revulsion on his features.
Ya, Doug thought, just once you can get that awful nauseated look off your face and treat me like a human.
What he didn’t know, however, was how desperately Stan was praying for compassion, for understanding towards these people.
But one day Stan was different. He was still quiet and dignified, but he spoke to them with respect, and by name! He ever shook their hands when he greeted them. The assortment of men viewed him with wary surprise.
Stan continued to visit his son on a daily basis, and the men sensed that Stan was different, that he really did care about them. First one then another responded to the obvious love they felt from him, and some even started unburdening their hearts.
It was a happy day when Doug, who had always been a wayward boy, broke down and confessed a fear of dying.
“Dad,” he wept, “I need Jesus, but I’m so afraid He won’t accept me because I have sinned so badly."
While the others listened in, Stan convinced his son that it was for people such as Doug that Jesus had laid down His life.
Doug made such a complete change, and was so obviously at peace with God and man after he confessed his sins, that no one tried to dissuade him. It was considered unusual how peacefully he died under the circumstances.
Both the hospital staff and the patients were deeply impressed with the caring Stan showed, but Jesus helped him.