My Dad was born with the same tendency to make poor choices just as every human being since the time of Adam and Eve. Wrong thinking, causing wrong actions proves to be part of the human condition. While my Dad lived, I observed some of those wrong choices.
Then, how do I account for the lovely compliments from grieving friends and relatives concerning Dad, spoken throughout the funeral receiving line?
“Your Dad was a quiet man, but when he spoke I listened because it was wisdom.” “Your Dad helped so many people and did so many nice things but he never talked about his good deeds.”
My brother Rick, who was there the last weeks of Dad’s life, made some interesting observations. Having become totally dependent for eating, moving and being cleaned, Dad kindly surrendered to caregivers performing these duties without complaint. He had always been a very private man.
After a severe choking spell days before Dad died, Rick asked Dad, “Are you afraid of what is to come?” With perfect peace in his eyes, Dad shook his head no. Unlike Tony in my last blog post, Dad’s last hours and last breaths expressed peace.
When the four of us children messed up, displaying the same broken human condition, Dad’s eyes reflected disappointment. His words of correction were few but there was always the awareness he forgave with continued love.
He modeled what he knew about himself. He needed forgiveness because there were times he missed the mark of wisdom. And there was a time in his life when he chose to believe Jesus death and resurrection paid for all his wrong choices. He believed there was an eternity waiting for him in fellowship with God and those who believed the same.
Dad’s prayers, family devotions, love of God and His Word made this so very evident to us, his children. Dad knew he was bought back from shame, blame and wrong choices by Jesus blood. Dad’s behavior, his last months, displayed faith, hope and love in the fact he was a child of God, bought by the blood of Jesus.
As I grieve Dad’s death, missing him in ways I didn’t anticipate, I take comfort knowing his earthly body is free from debility. And I’m grateful for what Dad’s love, life and encouragement taught me about the source of peace for my life. Love was never about not breaking the rules; it was about walking in relationship with the One who kept all the rules.
Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding. Proverbs 9:11
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. John 3:16-18