Today is the day after Father's Day. Yesterday I thought about my dad on the way home from visiting two of my daughters. I have thought many hours how prayer might have changed things in his life. Fortunately he received Jesus 7 or 8 months before he passed away... June 23 I think it was. He lay there sick in the hospital with brain cancer trying to answer the eternal question "is there really a life after death?" For him, by faith, there was. Amen.
I thought to about the events leading up to his acceptance of the Lord. When we first heard the word "cancer" I decided to take my family and go visit him. A few nights before I was praying on the phone with one of my close friends. I felt the Lord say that my youngest daughter (at the time) would be the one to minister to my dad. As we prepared to go see grandpa, she busied herself with finding a suitable gift. She chose a plaque that had been on the wall in her old room at our previous home. She picked it because of the sunset and the cross with purple cloth on it. We did not have any gift wrap, so she used newspaper to carefully wrap her treasure for "Grandpa nice guy". I am certain that she also used all of the tape left on the roll and lots of love to finish the job. She made a card and on it scrawled the only words she knew how to spell; "love Erin". It was just like the one she gave me yesterday.
The next day we left on the 4 hour journey to Vermont and upon arrival Erin jumped from the car clutching her gift for grandpa. She ran past the dog she was usually afraid of and onto the deck where dad was sitting in his wheel chair. "It's for you!" she exclaimed, "open it" She stood back and watched dad struggle with the miles of tape, her impatience rising. She said "you'll need some help" and she began to tear the paper off the plaque with him. When they were finally done, dad commented quietly, "That's very nice honey."
Erin said, "Read it to me Grandpa!" So he did, it said "I asked Jesus how much do you love me and He stretched out his arms and died." There was a strange silence on the back deck that day. Dad gave his life to the Lord about a week later. The rest is history, or should I say eternity.