Powerful Words, Powerful Message

November 15, 2020 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Janet Morris Grimes –

My heart beat faster with each step. I pulled the door open, bracing myself for our first meeting.

I heard his unfamiliar voice before I saw him. Different than I expected, but I wasn’t sure exactly how. He rested in a chair, seated in an office that held his name on the door. Impressive.

I leaned inside as he rose from the fabric-covered chair.

“Hi. I’m Janet.”

He smiled. “You look just like your picture.”

“Is that good or bad?” I asked. Without waiting for an answer, nor giving him the option, I hugged him. I’d waited for this moment for a long time.

He was a bit shorter than I expected, but maybe that came from seeing him through my little-girl imagination, rather than through the eyes of an the adult I had become. His words were strong and calculated, expected from a lifelong preacher. Thick, silver hair topped his tanned face. His smile was jovial, inviting me to share in his happiness.

We stepped in unison up the steps to the auditorium and down the center aisle. He placed his Bible on the lectern for his upcoming lesson. I waited in anticipation on the pew, about four rows back. This man, once my father’s best friend, spoke on the book of Hebrews.

I half-listened, wondering what it would be like if my own father were standing there, using his own version of the authoritative preacher-voice.

They’d been buddies in high school before the relationship grew into a true brotherhood while roommates at David Lipscomb College. They tackled the world of the unknown together, each of them pretending to have more answers than the other. They kept each other from studying, sharing the blame for their poor grades. They found the girls of their dreams, and then married them.

A friendship that should have lasted forever. I guess in a way, it did.

My father was killed tragically in a car accident when I was just a baby, so I had no memories of him. This led me, as an adult, to contact his best friend, Rod, with one simple request.

“Please tell me about my father?”

He shared as many memories as he could with me, describing a funny, brilliant-when-he-wanted-to-be kind of guy. A practical joker. Stubborn, but in a good way. The kind of person that thankfully matched my fairy-tale version of him.

Rod provided hand-written letters Daddy had sent while Rod served as a missionary in Africa. He shared photos, expanding on the stories that surrounded them with a faraway look in his eyes. Did he travel back to those hallways and locker rooms at Salem High School? I so wanted to travel there with him; to peer around the corner and see for myself.

Our first face-to-face meeting came to an end much too soon. But as he was leaving, he offered these words:

“Janet, your father would be so proud of you.”

And the little girl in me melted. In some ways, I think that is all I ever wanted to hear. I needed to hear my father’s voice, but Rod’s served as a great substitute.

I left there wondering how many more people need to hear that message; but not so much about their own fathers. But from God.

Don’t we all wonder what He would think of us? As we strive to make Him proud, wouldn’t it be great to hear those same words, in His voice?

If that isn’t possible, shouldn’t we serve as the role of the best friend, and tell our kids and those around us as much as we can about God. About how He moves and how He loves?

I went directly home and said to my daughter, “Your Father, in Heaven, is so very proud of you.”

I suspect that is something she has waited her entire life to hear.

About Janet Morris Grimes

Janet is the author of The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in April of 2011 through Atlantic Publishing. She launched Abbandoned Ministries in 2010, which leads others through her writing and speaking to seek God, as Abba, during times of abandonment. She currently writes monthly for Christian Woman Today, the grief website Open to Hope, and Mamapedia. For additional information on Janet, visit her website at http://janetmorrisgrimes.com or http://abbandoned.com.
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2 Responses to “Powerful Words, Powerful Message”
  1. Pam Zinn says:

    Love it! What a God moment.

  2. Hally Franz says:

    What a beautiful story, Janet. I am so happy that you had that opportunity to visit with this gentleman, and so happy that you shared it with us!

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