For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
The piercing tone of the phone shattered the silence of the predawn hours. Instantly, Betty knew something must be terribly wrong. All of her children were accounted for, as was her husband, so it must be one of her parents.
"Dawn, wake up! Something is wrong with your grandfather." Sensing panic in her mother's voice, Dawn catapulted from the bed. "I need you to ride with me." Betty wrestled with her slacks, attempting to dress quickly. "Grannie believes Pop is having a heart attack."
She didn't generally ignore traffic signals, but this morning was different. Betty was racing to the aid of her parents. The same parents who had always been there for her in time of need. Despite traveling well over the speed limit, the journey seemed endless. Fear of the unknown enveloped the car, squelching all conversation. God was the only one who could hear their silent prayers. Arriving at the house, Betty and Dawn ascended the steps at record pace. Once inside, they observed the paramedics working tirelessly to revive the one they loved, father and grandfather. God was merciful.
Pop spent several days in the hospital. Doctors described his recovery as unbelievable and clearly miraculous. Pop realized the Lord had shined favorable upon him. He was being given a second chance at life.
"Who is that?" Dawn didn't recognize the third person in Pop's hospital room. Remaining in the hallway, she strained her eyes, hoping to recognize the man in the black suit. From the reflection in the mirror, Dawn caught a glimpse of the white collar. This was no ordinary visitor, he was a priest. "Can you tell me how I can have the same joy you possess?", Pop asked the priest. Feeling somewhat intrusive, yet curious to hear the priest's reply, Dawn remained just outside the door. She was within hearing distance, yet paralyzingly still, so as not to be seen.
"My joy is in the Lord, Mr. Morris.", replied the priest. His face was radiant, possessing a smile as wide as the Grand Canyon. "You can have the same joy.", the priest continued. "You need only call upon the name of the Lord, asking forgiveness for your sins, and you can be saved." Dawn had never heard such verbage. How could she make sense of something she couldn't comprehend? Pop; however, seemed to understand perfectly. Grannie did as well. They both bowed their heads and repeated after the priest, "Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. Thank you for loving me and dying on the cross. I ask you to forgive my sins. Please come into my heart and life and be my Lord and Savior, Amen." Things were never the same after that day.
For as long as I could remember, Pop's prayer before meals had been "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Your bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen." However, this Thanksgiving he caused the entire family to peek during his prayer. Gazing in amazement, they wondered what was happening. No one had ever heard Pop pray like that before. "Dear Father, thank you for another opportunity to spend time with my family. I thank you for each one of them. I especially thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ. Please bless this food and make us a blessing. Amen."
Pop died that next April, a week before Easter. The same year, August 30, 1981, Dawn accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. Missing her Pop desperately, she prayed and asked the Lord for some assurance that she would see him again someday. God, in His abundance of love, reminded her of the time she spent just outside the hospital door. Tears welling in her eyes, she thanked the Lord that she would hug her Pop again. Only this time it would be on the shores of heaven.
Lord, thank you for the fits of your salvation. May your children let their light so shine before men that others will see their joy, and, as a result, want to know You personally. Amen