The Greatest Threat

The long hallway reminded me of dozens of others. I’ve spent many hours in nursing homes, and they all have the same familiar look to me. Rooms decorated with a few fragments from the past. Fading photographs of happier times are tacked up here and there. We passed by one room of an elderly married couple. A photograph of them as a younger couple was attached to the outside wall of their room. Their smiles caught in the camera’s quick shot greeted those who passed by and reminded me of how quickly time passes.

How soon the photographs of today will turn to past memories. 

We made our way to the very last room in the hallway. It had been almost two years since I’d seen my uncle, he lived a few states away and his failing health has taken his ability to travel. He’ll be ninety years old soon. His mind seems as sharp as when I first met him.

We spent most of the day listening as he recounted stories of the past with accurate precision and complete detail. His knowledge of historical facts dating back hundreds of years is impressive. He’s always been a history buff. His beloved hobby for the past several years was catching shots of eagles that nest in the lake near his home. He’s an extremely intelligent and interesting man and he knows he’s living out his final days. The cancer has almost won its battle and my uncle has resigned himself to that fact.

But cancer is not my uncle’s real enemy, unbelief is his greatest threat.

Through the years my uncle has enjoyed “debating” with me over the existence of God. He’s come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was a literal, historical figure, but is convinced that He was only a good teacher or a prophet. He isn’t too impressed with the depiction of God in Scripture, and has a distaste for the Old Testament’s record of bloody engagements. He prefers to live in seclusion and “in control” of his own destiny and says he has no fear of death.

Only God can open my uncle’s eyes to His reality, but we felt compelled to make the long drive this week to spend the day loving on him and sharing the gospel with him one last time. He listened respectfully, engaged me in some of the same theological and philosophical debates that we’ve shared in the past, but in the end, He remained unmoved, at least outwardly.

He clutched my hand tightly as I prayed for him before we left that evening. My husband said that as I shared truth, my love for my uncle was evident. My prayer is that Christ’s love and care for him will become even more evident than my love. I pray that my explanation of God’s rescue plan for his soul will return to his thoughts in the long night hours and the lonely days. Although his eyesight is failing, we left him with a copy of the classic work by C. S. Lewis: Mere Christianity. My mom brought it as a gift for him, hoping that he would read it and be persuaded by Lewis’ testimony.

Only God can bring the grace for repentance and salvation, but He uses His followers to tell the good news and spread the light of the gospel. That is our mission—to fill the earth with His glory.

Will you pray for my uncle?

Who are you sharing the gospel with that we can join you in praying for their salvation?

Image courtesy of dan/



  • Doni

    Kim, thank you for sharing. This is brought tears as I read it. I’m praying your uncle’s heart will be softened to the Gospel.

  • Julie Musil

    Kimberly, I just said a prayer for your uncle. I admire your courage for going there and making another plea to him. This subject is something that I grapple with…how I can’t force someone to know Who I know.

  • Sheila

    Heavenly Father, for Kimberly’s uncle and my father, also 89, who has congestive heart failure and may be in his final weeks or months, only You know… We ask that it would be Your will and that it would please You to make sure that these men who are precious to us and to You will spend eternity with You in heaven. Thank You for Kimberly. Please bless her today.

  • Diana. King

    Dear Kim,
    Since September I started working with Alzhimers and Dementia residents. My heart aches as I pray for Gods guidance on how to minister to them.
    Some days…..I have a group of residents alone….I say aloud in a soothing voice….”Believe on The Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.” Over and over I repeat it , reminding them how much Jesus loves them. I then trust God to do the work in their HEART’s and MINDS.
    God has blessed me with this job/ministy and I am so thankful for the lives I get to invest in and how they bless me!

  • Diana King

    Since September, I’ve been working with Alzhimers and Dementia patients. I love each one and they have become my family. When I have opportunity….I speak these words…..”Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and You shall be saved.” I ask God to allow the Truth to go deep into their minds and I trust Him to do the work. Life is so short ….praying for your uncle my friend.
    Love, Diana in Richmond. 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Julie ~

    Thank you for your prayers, truly appreciate that. Yes, only God can open eyes, we are responsible to share the gospel, but only God can bring conversion.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Sheila ~

    I am so sorry to hear your father may be in his final weeks. I hope you have opportunity to spend time with him in these last days. I’m joining you in prayer!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, dear Diana,

    Thank you so much for giving me a little glimpse of your day! I know those residents are so blessed to have you serving them! What a blessing for them to have you love on them and pour truth into their minds. May God take that by the power of His Spirit and do an effectual work that only He can accomplish!

    Love you, friend!