The Norman Transcript

Religion

December 27, 2013

I’m still going to church

NORMAN — A few weeks before Christmas, I was called home. Dad had prostate cancer and his condition had worsened. There was nothing more that could be done.

Time, that valuable commodity that we would like back, was slipping by. I needed to be with my dad. So, homeward bound to that beautiful place called home with a heavy heart but with a since of urgency and purpose.

My parents’ place was surrounded by tall, lanky Georgia Pines, nestled between magnificent Oaks that have witnessed so much history, artfully decorated by strands of moss and encircled by fields of peanuts and cotton. The gentle southern coastal breeze caressed the landscape of Newington, Ga.

My dad, among other things, had instilled in me the passion of preaching. The church in Rincon, Ga., (where I grew up) had asked me to speak for them on Sunday. This was a special honor, and my dad was looking forward to hearing me. Looking back, I now realize that he understood this would be the last sermon he would ever hear. Yet, God has a way of using those simple moments of life for greater spiritual truths. God always has a plan.

I flew in on a Monday from Oklahoma City and had quality time with my dad the rest of the week. That Saturday, I had decided to spend the night with my sister. The night was filled with thunderstorms and lightening. Around 2 a.m., we received a call from my stepmother that dad had fallen. She was in a panic, so we hurried to the house through heavy rains. We pulled up to the house and I jumped out running, dashing through the screen door soaking wet, heart leaping through my chest.

As I walked through the back door, I heard my dad shout, “I’m still going to church.”

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