My family was the typical unchurched family in America. Well — maybe NOT typical. I lived with my Grandparents which wasn’t the norm for 1950. My mother was long gone and my Dad who was about 21, came every week-end and stayed with us. No one talked about God or anything that related to God except my Dad and that was rare. We had Christmas with Santa Claus and Easter ham on the table for a family dinner and that was the extent of it.
My family was a hard working close-knit family. My Grandparents owned their own business and it was a 7 day a week activity. We didn’t sit around and watch TV or play games – we worked — but we worked as a family and it was fun. Whether we were working in their General store or burning brush it was always together but church was not part of my everyday life.
My one experience with church was a disaster. Someone decided I needed to go to Sunday School — wonder who that was?? My parents drove me to the church and dropped me off. My memory was sunny. The day was bright and beautiful. The church was sunny, the people were sunny, the Sunday School room was sunny. Other than that I don’t remember much. The only memory of being in the church was me watching a little girl with a pair of scissors cutting something out of paper. She had black silky hair on her arms about 2 inches long and I told her “Ouuu, you have hair like a lion”. Funny I still remember that hurtful remark and I’m still ashamed of it – I was 6 years old. The other most memorable thing about going to church was I rode the bus home and they missed my stop. An hour later, I was the last person to get off the bus – more traumatized than blessed. Once was enough.
As I am writing this and thinking about my Dad, I realized my search for God and eventual relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ was a door opened by my Dad. It’s ironic that to this day I still wonder if he will make it through that same door. Not that my Dad is some horrible person – on the contrary his life is very simple, clean-cut, but I don’t see the Lord there. Once in awhile he will surprise me and say something about God and I think “oh he does know”. Then the next time he will talk about old age and maybe taking a pill and ending it if it gets too bad. Once when he said that, I reassured him that according to the Newsboys (a Christian singing group) — “They don’t serve breakfast in Hell”
One of my special memories of my Dad is of him tucking me into bed and teaching me the children’s prayer. What makes it so special is — you have to remember — he wasn’t a Christian but it was something he thought I needed to know. Maybe he was searching too.
“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
A simple prayer filled with hope, promise and the love of the Lord Jesus.
If people could get a vision of what Hell is like they wouldn’t be so flippant about their lives. People actually joke about partying with their friends in Hell but they are so ignorant about the Bible that they haven’t a clue. The Bible talks about Hell more than it talks about Heaven. It is a place described as being an eternal fire that never consumes only burns throughout eternity; a place where the fire is so hot your teeth gnash and grind from a pain that never stops — and if that isn’t enough — it is total darkness and total isolation.
If people could get a vision of Hell — it would be so much easier for them to get a vision of Jesus and heaven.
Simplicity. Knowing the Lord is as simple as inviting Him in to share your life today — and making Him part of every day.