Thursday, February 24, 2005
I want to tell you about a beautiful sunset.
31 years ago, we moved into an apartment complex. A family lived across the hall. I was 4. They had a 4 year old boy. We became friends. My mom and their mom struck up a friendship and since my mom can't help herself, my friend's mom became a Christian. However, her husband did not. In fact, at that time, it was questionable whether or not there was even going to be a marriage between them any longer.
They renewed their vows and stayed married. He never did become a Christian. She continued loving him, serving him, respecting him, and keeping her faith. For over three decades she kept her faith while he did not. She held out hope that he would come around, but he kept up just as he had been for his whole life.
You've got to understand, this guy was John Wayne, and no one was going to tell him what to do. In Des 2003, cancer struck him with a cruel attack. For 14 months he fought it. For 14 months it fought back harder. He had met something bigger and stronger than he was. Cancer has no resepct for people and does not discriminate.
She kept her faith. In Feb of 2005, this weak, frail and broken man asked his son (my friend) to baptize him. "Yes, dad, I'll call the preacher." "No, run the bath water, I want you to do it." Down into the waters they went and up he came a new man, never more alive, though his body was near death. "Son, call some people and tell them what happened." Those were his words. First thing, he wanted someone to know. This nearly dead man, suffering great pain and challenge getting in a dn out of a bath tub could think only to evangelize, the spread the good news.
Last night, he passed into glory. Last night, he was welcomed into the place he's been longing for, dreaming of, and hoping for, but never knew that's what he had been doing until a few days ago. Right now, he's never felt stronger. He's free, healed, whole, and home.
A beautiful sunset.