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Dad passed away a couple of months ago.  He was just 90 years old and had been married to my mom one month shy of 66 yearsThey were members of the same church for 61 years where mom has taught the same Bible study class for 26 years.  They have lived in the same house for 41 years. Rather the picture of stability wouldn’t you say?  Well, it’s not the stability that I want to note but rather dad’s total lack of religious fervor.  Even though he earned his living as a minister, religion was not what defined his life.  Relationship was what dad was all about and specifically a relationship with God.  Dad sought to know God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30-31). He loved people and sacrificially served them all of his life.

Dad spent the final two months of his life in a nursing home fighting the battle of dementia.  Two strokes in two months played a role in his passing and, for the most part, was unresponsive his final few days.  One day near the end I was with him, alone in his room having a one-sided conversation.  The night before I had sat beside his bed and written his obituary.  This particular day, knowing that he would very soon leave this world to spend the rest of eternity in heaven, I stood, looked dad in the eyes and said, “I’ll see you in a minute!”  If I live to be 90 I’ll be alive for another 33 years.  In the span of eternity those years will be but a minute in time.

Less than two days later he was gone; reunited with dozens of family and friends who had preceded him in death.  He is this very day enjoying the fruits of relationship with God.  Dad was not a religious man, but he did know God passionately.  Stability in his life was a good thing, but it was not THE thing.

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