“He sleeps…” From the movie Pretty Woman. Previously published in 2016 and now remembered in his passing.
Of course in the movie, Julia Robert’s character is referring to Richard Gere’s character as she watches him sleep.
But that line always comes back to me when I see someone sleeping.
That happened earlier this evening.
A dear friend of mine lay in a hospital bed recuperating from major surgery.
I knew that this type of surgery had taken a toll on my friend, both physically and emotionally, and that the road to recovery would be long and difficult.
So, I wanted to stop by his room to spend a few moments with him on a quiet Tuesday evening.
I paused at the nurse’s station to confirm the room number and as I approached the room, the door was shut.
Maybe he was watching television, maybe reading or talking on the phone.
Knocking would have seemed intrusive, so I slowly opened the door to a darkened room, with only the dim light from a television, muted, mounted on the wall.
As I approached the bed, there was my friend.
And he was asleep, and the line, “He sleeps…” came to my mind again.
Except in this case, he slept as though exhausted.
He slept as though resting like a fighter between rounds, trying to regain his strength before the bell rings to continue the battle.
I watched him sleep for a moment.
But I felt so human.
I wanted to extend my hand to touch him and totally heal his body…but I felt so human.
I wanted to leave with him some encouraging words, written on a note, so that he would see them in the morning…but I felt so human.
I wanted to gather up all of my strength and put it in a box by his bed for him to take from it in the coming days…but I felt so human.
I wanted to kiss him on top of his bald head, or rub it like I have in times past, for good luck…but I felt so human.
So I simply stood at the foot of his bed…and watched him sleep.
And I thought quietly, as if my thoughts might wake him, “God, I feel so human. I do not truly understand pain. I have not truly suffered. And I know my friend has experienced both. So, give him rest for the strength that he will need. And I know God, that from this man will come words that will speak of Your loving kindness that will touch the lives of those he meets.”
I quietly closed the door and as I walked by the nurse’s station on the way out, I looked at the nurse and took my hands and rested them under my chin to let her know my friend was asleep.
As I drove into the darkness of a Tuesday night, I thought of my friend and the last time I remembered talking to him he said these words to me, as tears slowly rolled down his cheeks, “John, I don’t know why I have to go through this, but I know that God loves me and He will see me through it til the end.”
And He does and He will Sonny.
He absolutely loves you and will see you through it…til the end.