Some years ago, a poor woman - baptized a Roman catholic, was lying very ill in a city hospital. Fearing she must die, she was in great distress of mind because of the weight of her sins pressing down upon her guilty conscience.
A sweet-faced nun, passing through the ward, was called to the bedside of this dying woman, and to her she told the story of years of sina and shame. The nun promised to get in touch with the parish priest and to send him to see her, so he might hear her confession and administer the last rites of the church.
In the meantime, a Christian lasy was visiting the patients and came to the woman's bed nd found her very ready to hear the gospel story of ferr and full salvation through the crucified and risen Saviour. Eagerly the prro distressed one drank in the living water, came to Christ confessing her sins, and was soon rejoicing in the knowledge of forgiveness and acceptance with God.
When the priest arrived he found her as happy now as she had been miserable. But he at once began to make preparations to hear her confession and then to administer the last sacraments of the church. He begged her to make a good confession, that he might absolve her from all her sins and so prepare her for death.
She looked up earnestly and said, "let me see your hand first." Thinking her mind was wandering, he pleaded with her again, as the time was getting short, to confess all her sins and obtain forgiveness. Once more came the insistent demand,
"Let me see your hand first, father." Inorder to humor her, he held up his hand. She took it in one of hers and felt it carefully; then she exclaimed,
"It won't do father. The hand of the One who forgives all my sins has a nail-print in it."
As she was deaf to all entreaties to confess to him, the priest left, feeling her case was hopeless. But instead of that, hers was a sure and certain hope, founded on the Word of God, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission from sins" (Acts 10:43). She bore a faithful testamony to saving grace and dies triumphantly.
"The hands of Christ seem very frail, For they were broken by a nail. But only they reach heaven last, Whom those frail broken hands hold fast."