Daddy with my daughter, Sunshine, on her “Aggie Ring Day”.
When my father was a little boy, he became very ill and would have died had it not been for a woman by the name of Mrs. Merritt. Mrs. Merritt was a friend of my dad‘s family. My father’s family was farmers. Farming is a charming idea, but it is the hardest work you will ever do and you certainly will not get rich doing it unless you are cattle farming! My grandparents were not cattle farmers.
My grandparents were very poor! They had eight children and my grandmother worked as hard as my grandfather! They were not even able to afford a clock. My grandfather would know when to get up for work by a rooster they had. When my father fell ill, they had no money for a doctor and nothing to “trade” for his services. One day Mrs. Merritt stopped by and saw my dad and wanted to know if he had seen a doctor and why not. When she found out it was because there was no money she told my grandparents she would pay the bill if they would allow her to take my father to the physician. They agreed to let her. Had she not taken him, my father would surely have died at the age of three. He was so ill, he would not eat even when he started getting better. I have an aunt we call Aunt Sweetie, and that is just what she is. The sugar cane had come in and she was peeling it. She would cut about four inches off the end and give it to Daddy. That is how they got him to begin eating again. They tell me he had gotten down to literally skin and bones and had it not been for Mrs. Merritt and God my father surely would have died!
Years ago I was reading a book. I cannot tell you who wrote it nor the name of it but I will never forget one part in this book. It was speaking of those who were close to Jesus and the throne and those who were not. This author had seen a vision of heaven and wrote about it. He was a pastor, that much I do remember about him. He is someone you would know if I could remember the name! When he went into the throne room where the saints before us have gone on to be, the ones in the front were praying grandmothers! As he stood there looking, a couple he had known and had been mentored by as a young Christian approached him. They were beautiful. They had on white robes and there was a look of utter peace on their faces. They had been this man’s pastors for a time. He was very shocked to see them toward the back of the “room”. They spoke to the man and he told them how glad he was to see them. He made the statement to them, “You were very popular ministers on the earth. You had a television ministry and did many great things. I don’t understand what you are doing toward the back.” The minister who had been this man’s pastor spoke up and said, “I owe you a great apology and I want to make that apology now. You see when you first came to us, you were young in the Lord. I was a busy man, or so I thought at the time. I thought I was too busy for you. You, to a degree got on my nerves, because you were young in the Lord and we just felt our busy schedules didn’t afford us stopping and taking time to help you. You were not the only one we made this mistake with. Out of all we did, God wanted us to love everyone equally and we were just too busy to see that. That is why you see us here instead of closer like others.”
I will never forget that. It isn’t how popular people are, what accolades they collect in life, nor even the number of people they touch. The Bible even tells us that. It says we can speak with the tongues of angels, give all we have to the poor, but if we have not love we are as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal! Love is what brings quality to the quantity of the work we do for God. This is what Mrs. Merritt did. She went to the home of poor share croppers and saved the life of a child. This family could not give her a thing! They had nothing to give!! For years after that, Mrs. Merritt became a dear friend to my grandmother. She would always come by to see her after my grandfather died. Mrs. Merritt has gone on to be with Jesus herself. I am sure she is right there by the throne of God!
I will tell you what happened to my father. He became a hard worker. He began to buy his school supplies and clothes when he was eleven years old. My grandparents saw to it he knew what a work ethic was and to appreciate God’s blessings! He put himself through X-Ray training and lived at the YMCA and almost starved. When he and my mother met he was 5’8 and weighed 120 pounds. My mother teases him by telling him he married her for her mother’s cooking! My mother saw he was hungry and she would bring him home with her from the hospital and my grandmother would feed him. They fell in love and married.
My father worked in x-ray for years and then became a medical technologist through on the job training. A doctor wanted to start a heart program at a local hospital and called my dad to ask him if he would come and work for him and the hospital. This happened out of the blue! The hospital paid for my dad to go to Baylor and train under the renown surgeon, Dr. DeBakey. My dad became a “pump technician”. He worked his way up and became the Director of Cardiology at that hospital in a very short time! God blessed my parents and the more He blessed the more they gave back to God. The more they gave back to God the more He blessed! Not bad for a man who never went to college one day in his life! Yes, I am very proud of my father!
God had a plan for my father. God was going to use Daddy to save many lives. What would have happened had Mrs. Merritt been too busy or hard-hearted to care about a little boy who could never repay her? Would those lives have been saved? Maybe one of the lives my dad saved was either your own or one of your loved ones! Thank God for Mrs. Merritt!! (I say this to my local readers).
I don’t know why God has me writing so much on love lately. I cannot get it off of my mind. Even now, as I type this out, tears are streaming from my eyes! It was prophesied over me not more than two weeks ago that God was going to put a love in my heart that words could not even express. I was going to really “GET IT”! In other words, it was going to become a phenomenal revelation to me!! The greatest gift is love the Bible says. I have ALWAYS been honest and transparent with you, precious reader. I am not here to impress you. Let me tell you, I DO have some rough edges! God is going to sand them off of my heart. I went through a three-year trial that I literally thought would kill me. During that time, without realizing it, I developed a shell so to speak. It was a shell that I used as a protection from hurt. The shell must be broken! How can we minister love to people if we drive them away through so-called self-protection. God is the protector, not us!
I don’t want to be famous, well known, or rich. I want to be effective for the kingdom of God and the only way to do that is to love who He loves and that is every single one of us. I can honestly say this, no matter where you are from, what your background is, I love you, dear reader with the love of the Lord. I am so glad you come and read. My greatest heart’s desire is to see you saved, at peace, full of joy, and flowing in your gift!! I hope in some way these posts help in that! Even though I do not see you or know you, your heart is truly precious to me!!
May God bless you abundantly pyhsically, mentally, and spiritually! I will see you soon!