Feeling Alone? Is Jesus in the Room?

©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

“It would take a miracle,” the ER doctor said.

Earlier, when I arrived at my brother’s apartment, flashing lights from a firetruck, EMT vans, and a police car added to the surrealness and the shock.

“They’ve been working on him for 10 minutes now.  They’ll try a few minutes more, but it doesn’t look good. I’m sorry,” the officer said.

Then came a shout.

“We got a pulse,” someone called out. As they rolled him past me, my only brother, my only sibling, the only other one left in my birth family lay on the stretcher, in a neck brace, completely unresponsive.

In my heart, I knew.  But I prayed.

“Your brother is in really bad shape,” said the guy escorting me to the ICU.  After coding in two massive heart attacks within two hours, one at his apartment and the other in the ER, the outlook for Terry’s survival was grim.

The ICU waiting room was empty when I entered.  I was glad.  No trying to make conversation with other families in distress.

Selecting the right seat took on more importance than it should have. I didn’t want my back to the door because I wanted to see the doctor or nurse come in.  And I didn’t want to be on the long wall of seats opposite the windows watching people go by.  I felt drawn to the short wall connecting them – to one of the furthest seats from the door – empty seats around and in front of me.  With heartache beyond description, I put my hands over my face, bowed my head and cried out, “I feel so alone.”

A few minutes later, as I raised my head, I looked straight into the face of Jesus.

Across the room propped on a shelf right at my eye level – in the perfect place for me to see it from the seat I was in – was a framed picture of Jesus.

It was as if He was saying, “I am here. I am with you.”

Interestingly, that waiting room wasn’t a chapel.  That hospital wasn’t a religious one.

And, this isn’t a story about a miraculous healing on earth.

But it is a story about how God revealed His presence to me in a time of tragedy, reminding me He was with me and would be with me whatever would come.

That heart touch is one of several God gave me as my brother moved on to experience his miraculous eternal healing in heaven –

where I’m confident Terry saw the true face of Jesus.

Yes, Doctor, it took a miracle.

But one that happened a long time ago.  Christ. The Cross. The Resurrection. New Life.

Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:34b-37

  • What picture have you looked at recently that made you think about someone, or remember a good time?
  • In what ways have you felt the presence and the peace of God when you needed it?
  • What God touches can you remember from last year – times where you felt God “spoke” to you through a work of art, the words in a sermon, an unexpected call or text, a card or letter, or encouragement received at just the right time?  (Take time to write down the ones from the past, and to keep track of the ones to come!)

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

Dear one, perhaps today you’re sorrowful, distraught, or hurting; maybe you’re heartbroken over the loss of a loved one, a life that isn’t what you envisioned, a family that’s fighting or dysfunctional.  

You feel scared, sad, stressed, hurt, or alone. 

Fear not.  God is with you – right where you are.  

Look for Him.  Lean into Him.  His love is…Life-Changing.  Life-strengthening.  Life-giving.  

I pray you’ll experience God’s presence and His peace today, and that these Scriptures hug your heart in a special way.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ 2 Corinthians 4:6


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™


*Scripture references are from New International Version (NIV)




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