My dad told me about this a while ago, and he’s also spoken of it in sermons he’s preaching. It’s his story of salvation, and if you ask me it strikes at the heart of a lot of people’s pain.
The way he tells it – and I have no reason to doubt it’s the truth – he stopped going to any kind of church at the age of sixteen. He “threw religion out the proverbial window”. He was frequently told that if he behaved and treated his siblings right, then he would go to Heaven. And he didn’t like that.
When he was sixteen, though, a fellow trombone player in the school orchestra invited him to church. At first my dad refused, saying he wasn’t interested and just didn’t want to go. His friend persisted, though, offering to pick him up and drop him off.
He gave in.
His friend never had to ask him if he wanted to go again. For nine straight weeks, he did his best to get there of his own accord. And after nine weeks of driving himself there on his own by riding his motorcycle – one time in the rain and having a bit of a mishap on some railroad tracks – he did it.
He gave his life to Christ. Fully. Completely. Sure, he had difficulty following God’s will every step of the way. But God tests us to help us see that His way is the best way. He’s been a Christian now for over fifty years, a pastor for more than thirty, and he’s not showing any signs of stopping.
He’s been married to the same woman – my birth mother – for thirty five years. He’s faithful to her, following Joseph‘s example in the Bible (Genesis) and fleeing from any sort of temptation he may ever feel. Though I can gladly and joyfully announce he hasn’t been tempted by any ever woman that I know of.
I want to write an entire short story for this, but right now this is all I have to share with you to read. My dad is a hard-working man who loves the Lord and his family with all that he is.