My wife was having a difficult time delivering our first child. The doctors had told me that they needed to do an emergency C-section. The baby’s heart kept stopping.
“Here she comes.”, I heard listening for that first wail of life.
“Dear God, please don’t let her die.”, was my first prayer in nearly 10 years. I had lost my need for God. I had put my faith in a preacher when I was 13 years old. He was a man of God, but not a godly man. In my immaturity, I blamed God for what had happened to me.
“Sweetheart, what’s the matter.”, I asked. For thirteen years, Erin, had been my reason. She was the only bright star in the dark sky that was my life.
“Nothing, Daddy.”, she cried.
Erin had started making new friends. She had spent the night before at a church lock-in with one of her new friends, Raquel. Her mother and I were delighted. She had been so down after the move from Nebraska to Texas.
“Did you and Raquel have a fight?”
“Daddy, I was so embarrassed last night.”
“I didn’t know anything about the Bible.”
“You do, too.” I comforted. “You know about Adam and Eve.” “You know about Moses, Jonah, and all those others.” “You remember, from the book your grandma use to read you.”
“Daddy, these guys were talking about how the bible steered their life!” “They were talking about living by the ten commandments.” “Daddy, I didn’t even know what they were.”
That night as I channel surfed, “What it means to be a Father”, registered in my mind. It was the ranting of a TV evangelist. As I half listen to his boisterous sermon, I thought back to my childhood and all the men in my life. My father and grandfather had both been godly men. They had taught me well about honor, love, and faith. In that moment of clarity I understood that what happened to me was not of God, but of man.
The next day my neighbor, Jeff Sadler, invited us to go to his church. He said it was a different kind of place and that I would really like it. Given the night before I accepted.
“Welcome to New Hope Church!” yelled the young shepherd of this strange flock.
“Today, we start a ten part series on living the 10 commandments.”
God had just ended my ten-year solitary journey. He knew he had to change my mind before He could change my heart. He also knew the only way to do that was through His star in my life, Erin.
That was four years ago. Today, I am Erin’s father, not just her daddy. I am being the spiritual leader of our house, as our God demands. I can honestly say this day, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”
(c) Copyright 2004 Terry Higginbotham All Rights Reserved
Terry Higginbotham is a follower of Christ. He utilizes the gifts God has given him by running the OuachitaGroup. The OuachitaGroup is a multi-faceted communications company focusing on web content, ad copy, and short stories. You may contact Mr. Higginbotham by email: at firstname.lastname@example.org