Our pastor preached on Heaven the last Sunday of 2012. His body, failing and weakened from cancer, did not interfere with his God-given purpose. He sat in a gold winged-back chair on the platform. Mind sharp and heart still afire with the light and love of Christ. He spoke to the congregation as if he were our father, our grandfather, mentor, friend, sharing the Word of God with us. I felt like I had been invited in to his living room...like I was his daughter and he was sharing this life-giving truth with me. I wept, from the message - convicting, challenging, asking the hard questions - Am I living in light of eternity? Do I look forward to Heaven? Am I pursuing Christ or have I become lost in this world? Am I so earthly minded that I am doing no heavenly good? Am I living as a citizen of Heaven or have I become lost in this temporary world? Do I really know what heaven is like? Oh, those weren't the pastors questions...his were slightly different, recorded word for word in my journal. But, these were more important because, well...these were the questions the Holy Spirit asked of me through the sermon.
I wept too because I have loved this minister of God as a child loves her father. At times, I have sinfully envied his children - children blessed with imperfect parents hotly pursuing the holy God. So unlike my own growing-up family...I have watched this man from a distance and I have seen...seen what it means that God is my Father....seen that He is the Father I can trust with my whole heart, loving and compassionate. Yes, it has been a healing sort of watching...healing from God, in the recesses of my heart. Healing of the message that was burned into my heart long ago: trust no one, expect to be left, you are worthless. Watching this man with his children and grandchildren has spoken volumes to me about who God is, how He loves and what calling Him Father means...and I give thanks for being able to call God my Father...and I give thanks for this man that God used to show me what a father really is supposed to be.
Does this man know that his God speaks so loudly through his life? Does he realize the powerful way God uses him? Does it matter that my life (and so many others) has been so deeply impacted?