Nonon couldn’t keep back the tears as she told me about her sister’s death. Her bicycle had hit a hole in the road, and Rani had flown off and landed on her head. She wasn’t wearing her helmet that day. Despite being athletic and in good shape, one careless moment was all it took.

Of the two sisters, Rani was the cheerful one, the one with a caring heart. Nonon was more introverted and reclusive and considered herself “the dark one.” That all changed in a second. Now Rani lay comatose in an ICU bed with Nonon at her side day and night, trying to encourage her and hold her hand. However, Rani never regained consciousness. Finally, the family realized they had to let her go…

Telling me about the accident and the ICU, I could see Nonon was reliving the grief and heartache all over again.  The question “Why?” filled her heart and mind, but she had nowhere to turn for the answer. Raised a nominal Catholic, Nonon had converted to Buddhism to marry her husband. Now she wasn’t sure what the truth was.

But now, her sorrow and grief were making her reach out…

I could sense it, but hesitated. I’d never had a deep conversation with her before. She knew I believed in Jesus, but she always took a sarcastic poke at anything I said about religion or faith.

I took a deep breath. “Nonon,” I said, “There’s a verse in the Bible that says ‘Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. … No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.’”1

As I shared these words with Nonon, it was like a light went on in her soul. “Where is that?” she asked.

I opened the Bible app on my phone and showed her. She immediately motioned her mom to come over, “Mom, look at this!”

A little group of relatives soon gathered around as I read the passage aloud and explained what it meant.  Everyone loved Rani. She was cheerful, bright, and always had something kind or loving to say. Nonon had looked up to her as the perfect sister. This verse explains how God sometimes calls people to Himself out of compassion, to protect them and take them away from evil or calamity. It was as if peace and rest had settled over everyone in the room. Finally, they understood why Rani had died and could find peace and comfort in a verse from God’s Word.

Since then, Nonon has continued to stay in touch. Every day, I send her quotes and tidbits from God’s Word, and she always responds with gratitude.

  1. Isaiah 57:1–2 NLT