Doubled over in your hospital room, devastated by the news, and feeling the weight of your imminent death, I folded my hands and prayed, “Lord, help me.”
You were paralyzed from a massive stroke that occurred just a few weeks after Christmas. I remember your nurse telling me, “Enjoy this time with your Dad, because you’ll never have it again. And if you don’t spend this time with him, you’ll wish you had.”
For the past several years, you’d become a stranger to me, and I was a little confused on what to do in this moment. I know it’s because I had been putting my work first. And somehow I had excused myself from your life. That day, I texted my boss and excused myself from work.
In the prayers of “Help Me,” I learned I needed to be put on pause. I needed to step out of the race of finding success and to be with you. During this time, you left me 3 of the greatest gifts I have ever received.
Gift 1 – Eternal Comfort and Glory
With some clothes and a few dollars in the bank, and no life insurance, you left this world pretty much penniless. But because of your salvation I know you are in heaven, and no monetary item could offer that kind of comfort. Your death demonstrated to me this verse, “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” (1 Corinthians 8:9, NIV)
Gift 2 – Freedom from bondage
We’d also become distant because I wouldn’t completely forgive you. But in the time I spent with you, I came to the end of myself and realized it was time to let go. Even though you couldn’t speak, you could nod to let me know you knew you were forgiven and loved. You granted me freedom from a life of bitterness.
Gift 3 – A Life to Live
At your funeral people spoke about how much you impacted their lives by your generosity of words, help and encouragement. You made time for people, to believe in them and to help them overcome. I’ve made the decision to reprioritize my life. Look up at the beautiful blue sky. Recognize that memories have to be made, not just theorized. And to always remember I don’t have time for excuses. Today is all I have.
Thank you, Dad, because until you died I never really knew what I had been missing.