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The well-known pastor, professor, poet, and author, Eugene Peterson, is nearing the end of life according to his son. 

Peterson's son Eric sent out an email to family and friends on October 12, and it was shared over the weekend with his permission by theology professor Robert Creech.

Creech writes, "Eugene Peterson has encouraged, formed, and often literally saved the ministry of more than one pastor over the years through his writing and thinking (I would include myself in that list). He has refreshed Scripture for many through his thoughtful paraphrase of the Bible published as The Message. He has taught us to pray. It is time for those who have benefited from his ministry to return the favour to him and his family with prayer over the next several weeks as Eugene has been placed in hospice care: Christe eleison, Kyrie, eleison."

The post says that Peterson was hospitalized on Tuesday, October 9, "when he took a sudden and dramatic turn in his health caused by an infection." Peterson was put on IV antibiotics and is being treated for pneumonia. While his condition has improved, his son says that Peterson does not have much time left on this earth.

Eric writes that the family met with doctors who gave them the news last week.

"They confirmed for us that the two main medical issues he is facing—heart failure and dementia—are advanced and progressing. Based on their recommendation, he will come under the care of hospice and his medical care will be primarily palliative. As of now it looks like it will be 1-3 more days before he returns home, depending on when all the support systems are in place."

Eric told the news to his father:

When I summarized the conversation with him later, I told him there were three main things for him to know.

1. You are deeply loved.

2. It appears that you are in the last months of your life. (And when I asked him how he felt about that, after some thought, he said, 'I feel good about that.')

3. We are going to try to help make these remaining months as comfortable and enjoyable for you as possible. (To which he gave us his million dollar smile and said, 'thank you.')

Today he was visited by his brother and sister-in-law (Ken and Polly), Glen, the Presbyterian pastor in Kalispell, and Gary, the former director of the Lutheran Bible Camp. He’s tucked into bed now and resting comfortably. I’m not exactly sure what he meant by it, but one of the last things he said to me this evening was, "It just seems so sacred that they trust me so much."

Every moment in this man’s presence is sacred.

Grace and peace, Eric

 

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