I remember him as Rocky. Rocky lived next door to us and as a child I loved to sit with him on his front porch. I didn’t have a grandfather and Rocky let me adopt him. I would spend hours listening to stories about his life growing up in Canada. For almost ten years Rocky was grandpa to me.
“Becky, why do you ask so many questions?” Rocky inquired. “Are you writing a book?”
“Oh, Rocky, I just love to hear your stories. It must have been so exciting in the Mounties. Mama says that you are a legend, whatever that means.”
Becky continued, “My friends don’t believe me when I tell them about you. They say that no one around here could have worked for the Mounties. ”
“Becky, you aren’t telling my stories to your friends, are you?” Rocky asked. “You know I don’t like to brag.” Rocky cherished his privacy and seldom shared stories from his past. But there was something about Becky and her inquisitive mind that opened his heart. He enjoyed watching her face as he told her of life in law enforcement as an officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“They don’t even know what a Mountie is! They think Dudley Do-Right is a real Mountie.” She replied indignantly. “I love the stories about Sam Steele and the Klondike gold rush. Do you think he found gold?”
“Becky,” Rocky asked, “Why don’t you tell your friends some of the other stories I have told you? The stories about Jesus and his band of men are much more exciting than any of my stories.”
“But Rocky, they’ve heard those stories before!” she said. “I love to tell them about something new, something exciting and adventurous”
“That so?” he replied. “Well, let me tell you one more story. A story about Rosie and how she became my wife.”
“Rosie was a wonderful woman and a much better person than I deserved. We met while I was in the Mounties; I was tough and hard-headed. She didn’t like me much at first.”
Rocky continued, “Rosie came from a family of church-goers. Her father was a preacher and Rosie sang in the choir. As a believer, a Christian, she couldn’t give a second look to someone like me.”
Becky gasped, “You didn’t believe in Jesus?”
“Oh, I believed in Him, I just didn’t think He believed in me. “I took pride in saying that out loud.” Rocky confessed. “Because of that Rosie wouldn’t let me be more than a friend. She couldn’t afford to fall in love with someone she could never marry.”
“But I loved everything about her, except her Jesus.”
Rocky explained about his childhood, “My mom and dad weren’t like yours are. Your parents tell you often how much they love you. My father used to get real mad at me and sometimes he would hurt me.” Rocky explained as gently as he could to the youngster.
“My father often told me how bad I was; he said I was so bad that even Jesus couldn’t love me. So, I grew up with no use for Jesus. But, Jesus had plans for me,” he said through his tears.
“I started to wonder how someone as good as Rosie could love Jesus if He wasn’t worth loving?”
“Then I started to ask myself how someone as good as Jesus could love me” “Rosie had been telling me for weeks, “Jesus loves you, Rocky. I am praying for you everyday.”
“Her words rolled around in my head.” Rocky said.
Becky chimed in, “That brought you to Christ, didn’t it? Rosie’s prayers filled your heart with love for Jesus, didn’t they?”
“Yes, but first something happened. I was walking to Rosie’s house one evening, thinking about my father, how cruel and harsh he was to me. I guess I was having a pity party when suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder and I heard the words ‘I am your Father’. I felt such peace and serenity wash over me. I have never been the same.”
“That, Becky, is the story I would want you to tell your friends. That is the real story of adventure and excitement that will make for interesting conversation with your friends.”
Becky’s mind was going a mile a minute. She knew just the friend she was going to share this with. He doesn’t think Jesus loves him either.
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