Listen to me. Please?!

I shared this yesterday morning as we introduced our four week series, “I Pray.” I wrote it on May 22, 2008 when we learned the cancer in Lois could not be removed and she had less than 2 years. Since I was in a hospital waiting room I couldn’t pray out loud, so I wrote this which is loosely based on Psalm 5.

Daddy, Daddy, Listen to me. Please?!

Daddy I need help making sense of all this. My brain hurts, my heart hurts, I can’t even cry anymore.

I really need you. I feel like my whole life has been broken into pieces – a thousand piece jig-saw puzzle with no picture on the box.

Forgive me, Daddy, for all the times I’ve insisted you do what I want – to make things come out my way. That’s never worked. I realize that now. I know you’ve forgiven me, but I’m still sorry.

I know you will protect us from the wicked evil in this world but I feel as if I’ve been overcome by the noxious fumes of confusion and deception and now I’m wandering around these hospital hallways in a fog. I can’t see where to go. I know I shouldn’t be afraid – but I am. Afraid of tomorrow let alone next week or next year.

So, I’d like to come into your study. I’ll quit talking.

I just need to be near you; for you to protect me. You don’t have to talk to me but if you do I’ll listen carefully, I’ll do my best to follow your instructions, because I know it’s the only way I’ll get through this.

Daddy, I need a hug – to be reminded that you love me just the way I am.

One in a Million

A father once said, “Son, you’re one in a million!”

The son replied, “Dad, I know you meant that as a compliment, but it means there are 1500 guys just like me in China!”

Late Sunday afternoon, May 15, we learned Don Callison, a man who was one in seven billion went home to be with his Lord. After a tough journey with cancer, Don’s life on this earth ended and his eternal life began.

We could search the entire population of the world and not find another man the caliber of Don Callison. Who can measure the value and impact of a life lived at full-throttle for Jesus? Only in the last few months, as the cancer took its toll, did Don slow down physically but spiritually and intellectually he was sharp – even as recently as my last visit on April 8th.  For every question I asked him about his health, he asked two about my ministry. It was never about Don; it was always about others – and mostly about pointing them to Jesus.

Don’s enthusiasm for the Gospel was highly contagious; his sense of humor disarming and his persuasive skills unequaled. I’m sure God has a record but there’s no way for us to count the number of people who packed their bags to serve at Echo Ranch Bible Camp in Alaska or on the mission teams to Russia. And those are just the short-term missionaries. The Holy Spirit used Don’s wit, sarcasm, and captivating smile to provoke many to give up promising state-side careers to move to remote places all over the world so they could share the Good News of Jesus, the Christ.

I’ve watched people add zeros to checks because Don had the bravado to say out-loud, “You can do more than that!” Few people realize what God did through Don’s vision for the Christian Union Triennium project which ended in June 2013 and provided funds for five radio stations, 8 clean water wells, and 1600 solar powered radios!

I first met Don in August 1990 and I am a different person because of our friendship. Over the years we did several things together but from 2008 on we were especially close as we spent many weeks each summer traveling promoting missions.

He taught me how to follow Jesus better. I know of no greater compliment. He was one in seven billion.

I will miss him.