I am sitting here tonight on my dad's computer. I am really not writing this for you or really for me but for my kids. It's so fresh in my mind...I don't want to lose it or forget it! Right now, my dad is being prepped for a test in the hospital and we wanted to give him some time to rest. He has been there since Wednesday. I came in early Thursday morning out of state to be with him and my mom.
But, this is really not about that but yet it is. My father is a barber. He has been one since he was a teenager. He cut hair on a battle ship in the Vietnam War...his father cut hair, too. He has always done well with hard work and determination and always provided way over and above. But, his earthly success in making wise decisions or investments is such a small part of this man. He has a love for his Lord and Jesus Christ like NO other man I have ever met...no preacher, no missionary or seminary professor. Well, of course, I am his daughter and it's normal to think that of your own dad. But, today I found out I was not the only one...
Early today, my mom asked me to go through his cell phone messages and return any messages that needed returning. As I listened to his messages and returned his calls, I became overwhelmed. See my father(who is normally reading his Bible or studying some puritan author) has used his humble barber chair as a mighty place of "missions" for decades. If you sat there, you were going to hear God's Word one way or the other and probaly his political views too. My mom and I always laugh b/c we would wonder why people would keep coming back. But, it's pretty much standing room only and he is packed all day long!
So as I am returning these calls...I talked with one man who I knew as a child. I remember him as a huge, built giant who was military pilot and then retired to be a commercial pilot. He was stern and strict and he kinda scared me as a kid. It's been years since I talked with that man...years! The man came in for a haircut and the bakery told him next door that my dad was in the hospital. He told me that he was determined to see how he was doing because he loved my father so. In the middle of the conversation, there was a huge pause and I thought my cell phone lost him, but he was crying. The man on the other line called out my name and asked me if I realized that my dad was a great man of God. He went on telling me that my dad would continually preach to him and encourage him in the Word. Told me a story of when my dad would go downtown Detroit and witness to the homeless men on the street. He went on telling me how the Lord used my dad in this man's life. By the end of the conversation, this man was sobbing and I was a mess, too!
Over and over again today I have seen and heard about my dad and his amazing walk with our Lord and the endless lives he has touched. Everytime I left the room and then came back, he was witnessing to someone. He was telling the nurse to seek the Lord and she was sitting there listening. He was encouraging a man with Bible verses while he mopped his room floor. Yesterday, I later found out he gave money to someone who had fallen in bad times and he insisted my mother brought it to give to her. He gets no praise and for over 40 years this is who he has been...day after day!
I think of some of the twelve disciples who were considered lowly men but did a mighty work with our Lord. The Lord has used my dad in a little shop on the corner and his "life" and his testimony and his faith has gone out way beyond the four walls. He never needed the walls of big church or the title of elder or deacon and never really fell into the "politicals" of church. They tried but he just continued to read his Bible and make sure of his calling and faith daily!
My dad's faith and his witness reminds me of the verse in Psalm 66 where David says "Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for my soul".