Tender Mercies


Those who know me will tell you I’m prone to wear sweaters in hot summer weather. I’m always cold! And, it has been bitter cold in Virginia.

Being cold-natured is connected to one of the most tender, loving miracles I’ve ever experienced.

May 2019, my mom had a series of seizures that left her unconscious. Long before this happened, she had me promise that I would not leave her when she was dying. There will be several posts on the miracles that happened the week I kept that promise. This one has to do with cold.

Because she had portions of both lungs removed and used oxygen for years, the hospital doctors determined that the temperature in her room should be low to help her breathe.

  I felt blessed to commit to being there with her. I never got around to asking my husband to bring me a coat or blankets. My focus was on my mom. During that first day, a Sunday, it registered a few times that I wasn’t bothered by the temperature in her room. All I had to do was peek my head out into the hall to feel the difference. Knowing I would be spending every single moment with her until she passed, I looked over at the Naugahyde couch under the window, and figured that was going to be a cold place to try to sleep. I dreaded getting into that spot. At home I start every night, year-round, with an electric blanket. Hubby teases that the only reason they have high on the controls is for people like me. 

Nurses brought me two thin white blankets to use as a sheet and cover. That night I made up my little “bed” with my head at my mom’s feet so that if I slept, I could instantly see her face, without sitting up, should I need to. 

I was in constant prayer for Mom throughout the day, not the worried prayers you might expect. I thanked God for my mom’s life, and for the opportunity to be there with her and keep my promise. I sang songs to her, although she was non responsive. I read the Bible to her and talked to her. I never once turned on the tv. 

When the time came, I laid down on my side, fully clothed on the plastic couch. When my head hit the pillow, I instantly felt heat on my back. Huh? There was no doubt. I felt heat. My back was pressed against another Naugahyde cushion, just like the one beneath me. But it felt soft and warm. Was the cushion heated?

I put my hand back to test, and no. Not warm. Not soft.

Closing my eyes, the vision that came to me was the Lion of Judah spooning me from the top of my head, past my toes. I was completely enveloped in a protective fur embrace, warmed through and through. I laid there with my heart singing praise, and fell asleep with tears on my cheeks, feeling loved in the embrace of our Lord.

During the night, Mom stirred, distressed. I called for nurses. They gave her medication and I waited by her side, holding her hand, caressing her face, and reassuring her that I was there. I was in awe of the miracle just hours before. I told myself I would imagine the Lion of Judah when Mom settled, and I laid back down.

Except…I didn’t have to imagine it. That same warmth radiated through me again, and I felt the presence of a huge lion, spooning and protecting me.

During the day, nurses would come in the room and say things like, “Aren’t you cold?” 

I kept forgetting to be cold. And every day, I knew if I never felt that Lion again, the memory of His tender mercies would touch me forever.

But every night, for five nights, the same miracle occurred. My heart was so filled with praise. And every night tears were streaming down my cheeks, in pure appreciation of His presence. It was so tender, so loving, that I could not share it with anyone until long after my mother’s death. 

I have always been drawn to the Lion of Judah. I have other miracles that center around Him. But this one lingers as the most compassionate, tender, loving care I’ve ever known. At a time when I needed it most.

There were so many miracles that week. I cannot rush through them here. Miracles that, when shared, have given others the blessed assurance that heaven is real.

As I was losing my mother, my Father assured me that He is always with me, and knows my every need. In this bleak mid-winter, I remember the miracle of the Lion of Judah, and my heart is full.

The Conversation

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    The Conversation

  1. Sharon Tedford says:

    Absolutely beautiful. What a precious gift. What a precious Father God. Thank you for sharing this intimate miracle.

  2. Teresa A Moyer says:


  3. Paula Saihati says:

    This is so sweet. Thank you for sharing God’s love.

  4. Diane E Tatum says:

    Yesterday was one year since my mom’s passing. It felt like the day should be profound, but it passed without much notice by anyone else. The Lord, of course, knew my sorrow and my joy that she is with Him.

    • Deborah Maxey says:

      I totally understand. Times like these are when we know the truth of the song, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” You weren’t alone.

    • Deborah Maxey says:

      This may end up posting twice. But it will be worth it to me. I read your post and thought of how incredible it is that the song, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” Indeed. How wonderful that the being that loves us most knows our every thought and feeling. We are in constant communication with Him. We both know, He noticed.

  5. Gloria Knight says:

    ❤️ Beautiful ❤️

  6. Karen says:

    Beautiful. What a great visual to remember as I step into the bitter cold this morning. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Denise Grandstaff says:

    So beautiful!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful miracle of God always providing not what we want but always what we need!!❤️

    • Deborah Maxey says:

      Isn’t it just incredible that we don’t know what we need and yet when He supplies it, we realize just that in a way we never could have imagined!?!