It was four years ago today (23 December 2015) that Dr Francis Nigel Lee, my old college professor, died of Motor Neurons Disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
The following are a couple of emails I sent to Nordskog Publishing Inc. regarding Dr Lee’s rapidly deterioration health.
I post them in Dr Lee’s memory…
I spent over an hour with Dr Lee this morning (21 September 2011). I informed him that you all were praying for him, which he appreciates. He entered the room (where Dr Lee’s wife had sat me down) with a shuffling gait and in quiet and slightly slurry tones wished me a good morning. He has trouble speaking and it tires him.
He had tears in his eyes, probably on account of and in response to the tears that had begun welling up in my eyes, as he told me (upon my asking) about his present condition and its dreadful prognosis. Two years! He has been seen by the head specialist in this field in Australasia.
I tried to be upbeat and thanked him for guiding me along the rock-solid path of Calvinism and the Reformed Faith. We spoke of the good times during my college years. We had a laugh. I reminded him of the time he used to (to the consternation of a couple of the students!) bring a nun (habit and all!) along to hear him whenever he preached at the college chapel. Little things like this spoke volumes to me as he taught me (by word and by example) how to handle the Sword of the Spirit.
Yes, he remains strong in the Lord and with his wife Nellie is trusting Him – come what may.
Another minister and his wife (who I know) showed up about twenty minutes or so after I had arrived. He was Dr Lee’s minister till a couple of years or so ago – before he (the minister) moved on. We ended our time together with the minister praying. He covered everything I would have prayed for.
Also, Dr Lee has difficulty getting heavy books off shelves etc. So, he is grateful for the help he is getting with the citation references for his upcoming e-book “Certain Victory.” He seems to regard his “Early Genesis” as his magnum opus and would love to see it published.
I visited Dr Lee this morning (26 October 2011). It had been just over a month since my last one. His condition has deteriorated. He was in bed, though he does manage (with help) to rise and have breakfast and also sit for a spell at his computer by, with, and through which he communicates best.
His wife, Nellie, manhandled him so that he could face me, then she left us alone in the bedroom. He is receiving therapy for it, but his speech was very difficult for me to understand. His throat, he says, feels very dry.
We talked for about fifteen minutes, with me doing most of it. I remarked about the repair job that he had just recently done to his front path. I commented on the spider and her web that she had spun across the garden path to his door. I reminded him that he used talk fondly of the (this?) spider and her web when he taught us at theological college. He used the critter to illustrate industriousness and (Brucian) perseverance.
We talked about his medical condition which he says will progressively worsen. I was talking to Nellie afterwards and she said that they were getting a wheelchair for Dr Lee, but were having trouble knowing which type to get as Dr Lee’s condition seems to be worsening so rapidly.
Before I prayed for Dr Lee I mentioned that Jerry (Nordskog) was reminiscing in an email to me about the two different times Dr Lee was speaking in California at functions Jerry was involved with. I told him that the “Nordskog Publishing Team” was praying for him and that Judge Roy Moore was praying for him, as were (my brother) Fearghas and many others. At this point he moved his arms slightly above his head and with tears he said, “I am not worthy!” at which point I told him (with tears streaming down my cheeks) that he had impacted for good so many thousands of lives, myself being one – that his Christian material was disseminating all over the Internet.
I thanked him for his Christian diligence, his faithfulness, and all his hard work. I told him that I loved him in the Lord. I prayed for him, thanking God for His grace, mercy, and compassion shown towards sinners such as us in our Master, Jesus Christ, and for the gifts that He has given Dr Lee. I focussed on the New Heavens and New Earth and our future resurrection, our new bodies and our Saviour dwelling bodily in our midst on the New Earth – the time of no more tears, nor pain, nor sorrow, nor death. When I was finished Dr Lee insisted that he would pray for me. I understood him to be thanking God for me and asking Him to bless me.
Before leaving I spoke to Nellie. I asked her how she was coping. She was upbeat and glorified God. I departed and had a good solid manly cry in the privacy of my car on the thirty minute drive home.
What a great yet humble man God has given us in Dr Lee!