A VERY SPECIAL PRIVELEGE

Few people are privileged to have a father who consistently modeled godliness, integrity, faithfulness, and commitment to the Lord. I am one of the fortunate few. And after 91 years here on this earth, my dad was ushered into his new home in heaven. There he now is rejoicing with his Lord, my mother, and a host of family and friends who have proceeded him there.

It would take volumes to express the lessons that I have learned from dad. The early years of our lives were spent in the post World War II era when jobs and money were scare. We moved almost every year of my life until I was in third grade and dad finally found a permanent job with RCA. Dad couldn't afford a car until I was eight years old, even though we had made seven moves by that time. During those years I never really understood why he was always working several jobs, but now I realize how he sacrificed himself to provide for his family during those hard years. I learned much about working hard and sacrifice as I saw my dad model it. I learned how to live with little and how to handle money when times were hard.

But the most important lesson I learned was that of faithfulness to the Lord, His house, and His service. We never missed a church service - morning, night or midweek, even when it meant traveling nearly an hour to get there. Church was a priority and I was regularly taken out of little league practices and games to go to church. He taught us that all of our possessions were really the Lord’s and were to be used for Him. And as far as faithfulness in service, his record is unbelievable. Some say he was the patriarch of our church. The historical society of our denomination named him as one of the top seven key laymen in the history of the denomination.

He modeled trust in the Lord in hard times. After 25 years at RCA he lost his job unexpectedly during a period of downsizing. He never complained, and, in fact, afterwards he never went a day without a job as he trusted the Lord for employment. He modeled his faith in the Lord when we lost mother in an auto accident. He missed her so much, but he never blamed God. He went on living and serving God and trusting Him. He modeled devotion to God in so many ways including reading his Bible through annually from the time he was eight until his death. This year he was using "The Message" for his reading. He was a faithful prayer warrior and prayed for and with his family. He loved his family and he was very special to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who loved him so much. His life touched so many people at church, in the denomination, and in the community. Only heaven will show the extent of his influence.

After he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia in November, he never let folks know how ill he really was. And we couldn’t stop him from keeping his busy schedule and going to church as he always had. Even in the hours just before his death he was still doing church and conference financial work. On Thursday we took him for his weekly trip to the specialist for treatment. His blood counts had really dipped and he was scheduled for another transfusion on Friday. He was so exhausted, weak, and out of breath when we arrived home that I almost called the ambulance. But he wouldn’t allow me to do that and he wouldn’t allow me to stay with him overnight. He said, “I don’t think the Lord will take me yet, I still have more of His work to complete”. We reluctantly went home and I didn’t sleep at all that night. When we arrived in the morning to take him to the hospital, I sensed that he was gone even before we got out of the car. I was right. It appears the Lord took him home moments before we arrived. He wanted to go home. He was at peace - no more suffering. Oh yes, he had finished all the church checks and his reports for the Board of Directors meeting for that day. They were ready to go. His work was done and now he is reunited with mother. That was his desire for 15 years.

So I can’t mourn his leaving. I owe him so much and I already miss him. Recently I thought I should call him to share something I had heard - but then I realized .... But I would never wish him back. And I know that someday soon I will see him again. My heavenly Father has promised me that and He is even more faithful.
So I say, thank you God for the privilege of having such a special man as my father. I am truly a blessed person!

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