I got a text from my sister on Sunday. She and her husband were on their way to say good-bye to his sister. She was quite literally on her deathbed, after a year long battle with cancer. My sister asked us to pray that the dying sister-in-law would sense the loving presence of the Lord in their visit.
Than, it hit. Another sister reminded them to get the poor dying woman to pray the “sinner’s prayer”. Her soul was at stake. This set me off, and a string of messages that either supported or opposed (my position) such an action.
I haven’t written for a time, because I am having some vision problems, but this example is one reason I left Fundamentalism. The “hard sell”. Get someone to pray that sinner’s prayer before they die, because eternity is at stake.
The thing is, my brother-in-law has consistently shared his love of Jesus around his dying sister. She knows the theology. To approach a vulnerable young woman who is dying way too soon with a “close the deal” mentality is, to me, monstrous. I bet this woman already knows how much she is loved by the Father. She knows who Jesus is. She doesn’t need a magical incantation to be certain of her destiny.
Yesterday was one of the most difficult Fathers Day that I’ve ever had. No, nobody died, you can relax. But it was a day where, if anything could go wrong, it did. The long and the short of it was that I was over three hours late, my dad was in bed, and my mom was in a sour mood. But my dad was glad I came, and that is all that mattered.
If you are still able, hug your dads today.
Today is the trek to see my dad on this Father’s Day 2014. He is 86, and each year we face the prospect that ‘this year’ will be the final one. That is very true today.
My dad has had heart disease since his early 50s. In spite of changing his diet, walking five miles a day, and maintaining a healthy weight, he has had a few heart attacks and CABG surgery. He also has congestive heart failure and insulin dependent Type II diabetes. You could safely say his health isn’t really all that great. His most recent heart attack was a day or so before Thanksgiving last year.
My dad fell in March and broke his hip. While in the hospital recovering from the surgery, he developed bed sores on his heels. They would not heal. My dad had a total of nine hours of surgery on both legs to open up circulation to assist in the wound healing process. Dad was in the hospital for eleven weeks.
My dad has been a bit cranky since he got back, and, understandably so. He is still in pain from (now) healing wounds, and he was pretty severely decompensated while mostly in bed for nearly three months. My mom suffers from really bad dementia. It will be an interesting day.
Still, my dad was a good provider and now it is my privilege to let him know that, in spite of significant differences between us, I love him dearly.
I hope everyone has a great day today with your dads. If yours is no longer with you, I will send up a prayer for his soul.