February 27, 2018

The Answer in the Hymnbook

There was a long bad history with my dad. He was angry, he was physically abusive and no one ever felt safe or loved around him. We didn’t go to church when I was growing up but I remember hearing that he was saved after returning from World War 2, but I never saw the evidence of it in his life. Since I didn’t see it and all I did see through my childhood and teenage years was the anger and abuse - it was easy for me to assume he wasn’t saved.

He always called all those church people a bunch of hypocrites and he didn’t want anything to do with them.

Late in life when he was alone for ten years following my mother’s death, I prayed for him, but when he died in November 2011 at the age of 86, I could not say that I knew with any certainty that he was saved. It was my great hope that he was and that he just had not lived it.

Later I found an old church hymnbook in my father’s things that I had brought home after cleaning out his apartment when he died. I don’t remember ever seeing it or putting it in a box with some of his things. Yet, inside one of the boxes of our family pictures, I found an old hymnbook.

He had written a lot of notes (with dates) throughout the hymnbook and the notes told me the story. He had turned back to God for comfort in his loneliness. I am not going to share those notes because they are too personal. I could also tell that he was receiving comfort from God.

Inside the front cover he had written the date he was saved in 1946.

My prayers to know if he was saved were answered! After his death and in an unexpected way God revealed to me the answer to my prayers. To this day I am still letting this sink in…

I want you to also let it sink in and more importantly, I want it to fill your heart with hope. For those you have been praying for, keep praying!

If you read “A Little Like Love” a couple weeks ago about the letters I wrote my dad…when cleaning out his apartment, those letters were there - all in a stack. Every magazine I had sent him with one of my articles published in it - was in a stack next to them.