Monday, September 6, 2010

My Dad

Perhaps you haven't heard yet but my dad passed away on August 1st. So many people have expressed their regrets but they just don't understand why I am joyful.

To give you the short version of events. My dad grew up in Chicago as the fourth of five boys and his father was killed at an early age in an industrial accident.

During most of his life, he rejected every concept of God. He moved through eastern type of meditation and read much about the human mind and thought control type of issues.

Over the years, since my new life began, I have been presenting him with books and personal discussions about Jesus. Each time he dismissed my thoughts and discussions and rejected the books.

Somewhere around 60 years of smoking left him in failing health. His lungs struggled to inhale and he had to learn to control panic attacks caused by his inability to get a clear breath.

He lived like this for several years.

Each time I left him I though it might be the last time I would see him.

Over the years I have traveled the 550 miles to Lava Hot Springs Idaho to see him one to two times per year. As our discussions progressed he became a bit softer to talk about God.

Finally, the last time I saw him he held up a small new testament that he had gotten years ago in the Navy. The Gideon New Testament contained very small print that he had trouble reading.

I went out that night and bought him a large print Bible and we talked about what he might read first.

That was the last time I saw him.

At his funeral, I met his step-son (Mark) who, like me, grew up in a Mormon family. I assumed that he was also Mormon. Mark and my dad had a very good relationship for several years.

After the funeral, Mark and I were talking and we both realized that we had both been talking to dad about Jesus. Mark said he knew someone else was witnessing to him but didn't know who.

Mark told me that the last time he saw dad, he asked him directly if he had accepted Jesus into his life. My dad said "yes". Mark asked him if it would be alright if they prayed together again to receive Jesus just to make sure. They did.

Here is the answer to my deep, deep misunderstood joy.

God, in His tender mercies kept my father alive long enough to find his way to Jesus and then took him home to His glory!

How can I be sad?

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