A few years after a job transfer moved me from my native home of Houston to Jacksonville, Florida, I lost my job and was unemployed for the first time in my life. At the time, I was very glad to be a Christ follower and to have a Christian perspective of the job transition challenges. However, within a few weeks the situation worsened. I got a call that my Dad had terminal cancer and had 3 months to live.
My Dad was a good man, loving, caring, fun - and we were close. He had been everything to me. There was one thing he wasn’t: he never made a spiritual impact on my life. I was determined to witness to my Dad before he died.
The 850 mile drive to Houston gave me 15 hours to go over my game plan with The Lord. “Lord, how do I approach sharing the plan of salvation with my Dad, 66 years of age? Should I be bold? Lord, give me the words, the wisdom to know what to say, and the opportunity.”
Upon my arrival, my Dad and I talked about many things we both enjoyed, like sports and politics, but nothing about the primary purpose of my trip. I retired to bed somewhat disappointed in myself for not even raising the issue. I tried to justify my lack of initiative . . . I was tired . . . The Lord wanted me to wait until morning.
At that moment, my Mom tapped on my bedroom door. She said there was something she thought I should see. As I followed her to my parent’s bedroom, I froze at the sight of something I had never seen. At the foot of their bed, my Dad was on his knees praying. When he finished, he asked me to forgive him for not being the Dad he should have been. He told me that God had already forgiven him, but it was important that I forgive him also. There was a lot of cleansing forgiveness in that conversation.
God’s plans for our lives are so much greater than we are capable of comprehending or scripting. My Dad’s last request to me was to raise my children in a Christian home. Imagine that, a man that had no spiritual impact on my life for 38 years had the greatest spiritual impact in my life, through one evening’s conversation!
Coach Randy Moorman