A nurse with whom James Dobson had worked, Gracie Schaeffler, had taken care of a five-year-old boy as he was dying of lung cancer. This little boy had a Christian mother who loved him and stayed by his side through the long ordeal. She cradled him on her lap and talked softly about the Lord. Instinctively, she was preparing her son for what was to come.
One day Gracie entered the boy’s room and heard him talking about hearing bells ringing. “The bells are ringing, Mommie,” he said. “I can hear them.”
Gracie thought he was hallucinating because he was already slipping away. She left and returned a few minutes later and again heard him talking about hearing bells ringing.
The nurse said to his mother, “I’m sure you know your son is hearing things that aren’t there. He is hallucinating because of the sickness.”
The mother pulled her son closer to her chest, smiled and said, “No, Mrs. Schaeffler. He is not hallucinating. I told him when he was frightened—when he couldn’t breathe—if he would listen carefully, he could hear the bells of heaven ringing for him. That is what he’s been talking about all day.
That precious child died on his mother’s lap later that evening, and he was still talking about the bells of heaven when the angels came to take him.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”—Colossians 3:2.