“In the midst of my personal tragedy, I felt something good stirring in my heart.”
I considered myself a lucky man. At 47 years old, I had a great career, a wonderful wife, three healthy boys, and a beautiful home. Our family was financially very comfortable. I felt secure about where I was and where I was heading. Life was good. Life was very good. And then came July 15, 2015.
We’d left for Florida that morning, my family and I, for a well-earned vacation on the beach. Upon our arrival, I received news that my mother had suffered a terrible accident back in Montreal. I caught the first flight home and rushed to my mom’s bedside at the hospital. She had fallen and suffered a blow to the head that caused an ensuing subdural hematoma and considerable brain damage. I knew when I saw her lying there in a coma that her prognosis was bleak. My gut told me my life was about to change forever.
Even at the age of 47, with a hectic professional and social life, my mom was my centre. No matter where I was in this world, I always felt tethered to her. She was my safety net and my moral compass. No one had my back more than my mom. The realization of the extent of her injury caused me great despair. I was an emotional wreck. I had trouble breathing. My crying seemed to never stop. I was despondent.
One night, a member of our extended family brought a Pentecostal pastor to visit me. Pastor David sat with me in the waiting room of the ICU and asked that I pray with him. I was uncomfortable with the prospect of praying in public, but I did as he asked.
Something happened when we prayed together. It was as if a huge burden lifted from my shoulders. Pastor David asked me to meditate on the following Bible verse: “I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the LORD has done” (Psalm 118:17, NLT).1 He told me to stand on God’s Word. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I recited this verse and prayed to God over the course of the 12 weeks my mom lay unresponsive in her hospital bed.
Prior to July 15, 2015, I was Christian in name only. I had been raised a Catholic and rarely attended church. My “relationship” with Jesus was limited to the weddings, baptisms and funeral masses I attended. Following that evening prayer with Pastor David at the hospital, I started attending church every Sunday morning. I purchased a Bible and began reading Scripture. In the midst of my personal tragedy, I felt something good stirring in my heart. My life started to change as I came to know Jesus as my Saviour. I realized that He would carry my sorrows and my burdens and would watch over me forever. In fact, He had never left my side throughout my life.
My mother believed in Jesus. I know she worried that I was too busy and stressed with achieving and doing. She always sent me a card on my birthday, anniversary, Christmas or other special occasions. In each of her cards, she always wrote a note that made reference to God and to living a life filled with purpose, peace and love.
Mother never did regain responsiveness. The woman who gave me life, who was the most important person in my world, passed away on October 7, 2015. Mom was 72 when she died. Following her death, many people expressed regret that my prayers had not been answered, that she had not been afforded more time on earth. I always found this to be a curious comment. You see, from my vantage point, a miracle did happen. While my mom did not awake from her ordeal, my eyes had opened to the Lord.
There is a scene in a wonderful movie titled God’s Not Dead. In it, a son visits his mother, who has dementia. He has grown distant in his relationship with his mother as he focused on pursuing success and the acclaim it afforded him. His mother, in a moment of lucidity, declares to her son: “Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.”
That line hit me hard.
So, when friends or family speak of my mom’s accident, I tell them that my prayers were answered. I was awakened from a comfortable prison cell and am living to tell what the Lord has done. I think my mother would be very proud.
Dino Mazzone is a lawyer by profession, president of the Conservative Party of Quebec, and lives in the City of Montreal West, Que. He attends Emmanuel Pentecostal Christian Church.
1Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved
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This article appears in the March/April 2016 Issue of testimony.
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