AND DAD PLAYED THAT OLD PIANO
(Trussville, AL USA)
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10"14-15)
What a day I did have! It seemed as if the devil heaped coals of temptation on my head at every turn. Well, I’m home now, home sweet home. I'll just heat up a cup of tea, say a quick prayer and jump into bed, hopefully to another nice dream world experience.
I did and what a dream! All of a sudden I seemed to hear my dear old preacher Daddy playing his trusted piano and singing at the top of his lungs. "This just can't be," I thought. He's been in glory land some 20 years now. Shortly after Mom's trip to glory land. Besides his old piano is packed away in the garage, all covered over in cobwebs with half the keys broken.
Dad and Mom had spent the better part of their 60 plus years together serving in the ministry. And when Dad would get discouraged, which would come quite often in the ministry, he would sit down at that old piano and sing his blues away by singing his favorite song "The Love of God" over and over again.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
And the song verses would go on and on,
Nothing would do me then, other than to slip out into the hall, where Dad's old piano used to be kept. And guess what? Dad was sitting at that old piano, grinning from ear to ear.
"Hi, son, what took you so long?" Dad asked, in all the excitement he could muster up. "I've been waiting for you for at least twenty years."
"Well Dad, you know how slow I am," I quipped.
"Yes, I do son. Nothing has changed these twenty years," he laughed rather wittily. Then he continued singing and playing.
"Your Mom sends her regards," Dad commented as he continued his singing.
"That's nice, Dad. I surely miss her", I replied.
Then, guess what happened? You guessed it. All of a sudden, sitting on that old piano bench with Dad was Mom. They were just sitting there, harmonizing together as always. What a sight to behold! Both of them were singing those old spiritual tunes.
I don't know how long my folks sit there singing that night. For my dream seemed to go on forever. However, I was able, in between songs, to get a word or two in to tell them how much I loved them, how much they had meant to me. And that I was looking forward to spending eternity with them in Glory.
And my all important question, that I had always wanted to ask, but was afraid to do so was, "Dad, Mom, how were you all able to keep the faith under the most adverse conditions of the minister in the Great Depression era? And boy, was Dad ever ready to answer, as if by divine direction.
"Son, our Lord never promised us that the walk of faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6), would ever be a walk of ease. Problems never come easy in the ministry (James 1:4). And to be frank, we would have rather gone through the ministry on "flowery beds of roses." But that's not the way real life works in the ministry. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, and life is not going to be easy all the time. You see, the church is simply made up of people. People like you and I. Some of which are believers, and some, unfortunately, are not. We were here for the believers, but most importantly we were here for the 'nots'. However, no ministry will work without a tried and proven faith. Yes, all ministers experience trials and temptations." And with that, he finished his little sermon by quoting (James 1:2).
"So wait just a cotton pickin' minute, Dad," I scream. "Was that bit not taken from your last sermon you preached?"
"Yes Son, it was, I'm glad you happened to remember. I thought that you were asleep at the time," he answered laughing out loud as he spoke.
Then, it happened all over again. Was this an extension of my dream? I'll never know. Nonetheless, this dream ended as abruptly as it started. The music stopped and so did the singing. When it was over, it was all over. And the famous hall, where it all began, was empty again.
However, lying by my bedside was an open Bible. Not just any Bible, but Mom's old worn-out tattered Bible. And it just happened to be open to the most unusual verse, highlighted in bright glowing red.
"Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers especially among the family of believers—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2)
What did I do next? I got out of bed, wiping the tears from my eyes. I knelt down by my bedside and thanked God for all His blessings. I thanked Him for my parents' time here on earth in spreading the gospel. (1 Cor 15:1-4) Then, I got up and fell back into the most beautiful peaceful sleep of my life. Amen!
Yes, tomorrow was a new day with new challenges. However, all my stumbling blocks just seemed to turn into stepping stones from there on out. It was as if Dad had returned to real life and was guiding me every step. Amen!
Growing up as a (minister's) kid was quite an experience. Yes, that makes me the proverbial "Preachers Kid" or "PK" for short. Well, you might think being exposed to the Christian way of life one would have an automatic ticket into God's kingdom. Not so, for we all must come in by the way of the cross.
For you see, looking back growing up as a "PK", the most important message I remember was the strong, but simple evangelistic teaching. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Additionally, in support of this evangelistic message, was our old fashioned church altar. Now, I realize the physical make up of that old altar was no different than any other construction. However, that old-fashioned altar was very special to me, for that old altar was where I was first introduced to the Living God. Amen!