怀念Dale Ward (四): 在医院的祝福

DaleWard05 (200 x 191)2006年10月10日凌晨4点钟,Dale R. Ward,平安地断了气,离开了这世界。出生于1944年, Dale Ward 是生命之光广播电台的节目部经理。他不但是我的老板,他也是我的朋友和老师。

在这里“老师”一词有很特别的意思。Dale没有在课堂上教过我数学或历史,但是他在医院里,躺在床上,不能起来的时候,教导我很多事情。

在还没有把我的意思讲明以前,我先说另外一句。生命之光广播电台是一群基督徒组成的,工作人员都是基督徒,经费依靠基督徒捐款。但是,您—我们忠心的听众—心理想要知道的不是广播电台的来源,乃是基督教的真实性,对不对?也许您时常想要知道,基督教实用不实用?

譬如,基督徒面对死亡时,基督耶稣的教导和真理能不能让一位基督徒面对死亡而不绝望,不害怕?基督教的价值在此就出现。一名基督徒最后一个月,最后一天,最后一小时,最后一分钟,他的信仰使得他平安的过世呢,或让他很孤独,很害怕地面对死亡呢?一个人临终的话时常让亲朋好友看透他的心理,知道他内心深处如何,得知真正的他是什么样子。

Dale在医院养病时,他的“真人”就出现了。头几天大夫、家人、朋友和同事都告诉他不久以后他会康复,出院回家。Dale的反应很好,他听得很高兴。

但,不久以后,大夫的话有所改变。大夫说,你需要很长的时间才会回到工作单位;Dale一样接受了大夫的话,说,好,慢慢来吧。

再过一两个星期,大夫告诉Dale的妻子说,我们所能做的,我们已经做了;能给的治疗,我们给过了。能吃的药,Dale已经吃了。医学界到此就束手无策了。您心里要做准备,不久以后,您的丈夫就要去世。

Dale的太太Pat和大夫两个人一块儿把这个坏消息告诉Dale。Dale的反应如何呢?当然,他很难过,但是Dale没有埋怨、没有生气、没有说出脏话、骂人话等。Dale问大夫说,我还有几天呢?大夫回答的很诚实,说,我们把你现在用的药—多巴胺—dopamine停掉以后,大概48个小时,您就会断气。连这句话Dale都接受了。但是他告诉大夫说,我有一些家人,朋友,同事,我需要跟他们告别。请你让我继续用多巴胺维持生命几天,好吗?大夫答应了。

这个时候,Dale的基督徒朋友,他的家人和生命之广播电台的同仁天天都为他祷告。教会的弟兄姐妹为他祷告。美国阿肯色州哈丁基督教大学的学生为Dale祈祷。参加德州艾伯林基督教大学年会的人也为Dale祷告。连Dale在国外的朋友为他祷告。

Dale请他太太转告我们生命之光广播电台的同仁,他希望能够再一次见我们,就请我们一个一个的前往医院看望他。每一个同仁进去病房时,没有见到一张愁苦的脸,没有遇见一个对生命绝望的人,没有看见一个怨天尤人的人。相反,我们遇见一位心里平安,头脑清楚的人。

我们去医院是要安慰、鼓励、支持我们的老板和朋友,但是没想到!得到安慰、鼓励和支持的不是Dale,乃是我们自己!Dale一个一个的告诉我们他为我们多年的友谊感谢天上的神,他说他感谢我们对生命之光广播电台的贡献,他还鼓励我们要继续地尽到本份制作最好的广播节目。Dale还祈求天上的神赐福给我们每一位。

在这难过的时候,在面对死亡之刻,Dale能够说这些话,能够想到别人,Dale真是我的老师。

交待完了临终的话以后,Dale告诉他家人和大夫们他们可以停掉多巴胺。之后,Dale就把自己交托给上帝。

果呢?上帝垂听了多人的祷告,没有让Dale马上就断气。虽然大夫们说也许他只会活两天,神让他多活三个星期!头脑也很清楚。最后,2006年,10月10日,Dale的生命就结束了,他的灵魂归回创造宇宙万人的主。

生命之光的同仁都怀念这位伟人,我们的同事、朋友和老板,Dale Ward。

我呢?我怀念我的老师。

Memories of Dale Ward /04:
Teacher in the Hospital

Dale R. Ward passed from this life at 4:00 a.m. on October 10, 2006. Born in 1944, Dale was the Executive Director of World Christian Broadcasting. Not only was he my boss, he was also my friend and my teacher.

When I say that Dale was my teacher, I use the term in a very special way. It wasn’t in a history or math class, but rather in the hospital, with Dale flat on his back and unable to get out of bed, that he taught me much.

Before I explain, let me tell you some other things. World Christian Broadcasting and radio station KNLS were established by a group of Christians. Those who work for KNLS are Christians, and the financial support for the radio station comes from Christians. I think, however, that you—our faithful listener—aren’t as interested in the background of this Christian radio station as you are in knowing whether Christianity is true or not. Does it work in life? Isn’t this what you’re thinking?

For example, when a Christian is about to die, do the teachings of Jesus Christ enable him to face death with conviction and without fear? It’s in the face of death that one can know whether Christianity is worth anything or not. Does a Christian’s faith sustain him during his final month, final day, final hour and final minute, and enable him to pass into eternity in peace? Or does he feel alone and scared to face death? A person’s final words often enable his family and friends to see deeply into his heart; the kind of person one really is becomes evident on one’s deathbed.

Dale’s “true self” became obvious while he was in the hospital. During the first several days there, physician, family, friends and co-workers all told him that he would be better soon, and would be able to return home and return to work. Dale’s reaction to this was very positive.

Before long, however, the doctor changed her mind, and told Dale that he would need a very long recovery time before he could return to the office. Dale accepted this conclusion also, and said that he would take things one day at a time.

One or two weeks later, however, the physician told Dale’s wife, Pat, that she and the other doctors had done everything they could, that they had given Dale all the treatment and medication that was available. “There’s nothing left that the medical field can do for Dale,” she was told. “You should prepare yourself, because your husband cannot last much longer,” the doctor said.

Pat and the physician talked to Dale together and broke this tragic news to him. How did Dale react? Yes, of course he was sad, but Dale did not complain, he was not angry; he did not use profanity or blame anyone. He asked the physician how long he had, and the physician replied honestly. “After we turn off the dopamine IV drip, you’ll have about 48 hours.” Even this sentence Dale received in peace. Dale told the doctor that there were several family members, friends and co-workers to whom he wanted to say Goodbye. “May I use the dopamine a few more days?” The doctor agreed.

All during this time, Dale’s Christian friends, his family members and the staff of World Christian Broadcasting were all praying for him. The Christians where Dale had his church membership were praying for him. Students in Harding University in Arkansas were praying for him. People attending the annual Lectureship at Abilene Christian University in Texas were praying for him. Even his friends who lived in foreign countries were praying for Dale.

Dale told his wife to tell his co-workers at World Christian Broadcasting that he wanted to see them one more time. He said to tell us that he welcomed us to come to the hospital one-by-one and visit him. When we entered the room, we didn’t see an ugly frown, we didn’t see someone who had lost all hope, and we didn’t see someone who blamed God or man for his problems. No, no. Rather, we saw someone whose heart was at peace and whose mind was clear.

Yes, we went to the hospital to comfort, encourage and support our boss and our friend, but we had no idea that it wasn’t Dale who would be comforted, encouraged and supported. No! Instead, we received these things—from Dale! One-by-one, Dale told us how thankful to God he was for our friendship. He expressed appreciation to each of us for our contributions to World Christian Broadcasting, and he encouraged us to continue to work faithfully, and produce the very best programs that we could. Dale also asked God to bless each of us.

Under such circumstances, as Dale faced death, for him to be able to say the things that he did, and to think of others, he indeed was my teacher.

After Dale had expressed his final thoughts to the people he had worked with everyday, he then told his wife and the doctors that they could turn off the dopamine IV drip. Then Dale put himself into the hands of God.

What happened? God granted the prayers of many people and did not let Dale’s life end so soon. Although the physicians had said that Dale would continue to breathe for a couple of days after the medication was stopped, God enabled Dale to live for three more weeks! Even his mind stayed clear.

Finally, however, on October 10, 2006, Dale’s life came to an end, and his soul returned to the Creator of the universe and of all mankind.

The employees of World Christian Broadcasting remember this great man—our co-worker, friend and boss, Dale Ward.

Me? I remember my teacher.


怀念Dale Ward (四):  在医院的祝福
Memories of Dale Ward /04: Teacher in the Hospital
作者:谢德华 By Edward Short
©World Christian Broadcasting
Franklin, Tennessee 37067

 

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