One Christmas Eve during the years I worked as a buyer for a department store, as usual I didn’t get off work until the evening and then faced a long drive to my hometown to spend Christmas with family. That night, temperatures were predicted to be in the low teens, and the precipitation forecast was a bit sketchy.
I received a phone call in the late afternoon from my dad. “I’m coming down there to follow you back home,” he said. Very few people had car phones back then, and I was not one of them. With most businesses closed on Christmas Eve, and not many cars on the road, Dad was concerned I might get stranded in one of the rural stretches I drove through and have no way to contact someone for help.
I hated for him to get out in the cold and drive needlessly for hours, and of course, I was in my bulletproof years, so I protested, “But Dad, I’ll be fine.”
He was unrelenting. “I’m coming,” he said.
As long as I live, I’ll never forget driving home on a cold Christmas Eve, with my Dad’s headlights in my rear view mirror―with me the whole way.
This morning, my dad faces a medical procedure. At 86, he is in a slow decline fighting prostate cancer and his brilliant mind has been ravaged by the effects of the treatment. He’s confused about what he’s having done, and he’s been digging in his heels against it not understanding the consequences. Sometimes we’re at a loss to know how to help him.
One thing is for sure, though. Just as my dad was with me that dark winter night to make sure I arrived home, we’ll be with him during the winter of his life.
But there is a place we can’t go, and things we can’t do. And where our ability fails, I believe with all my heart, God will help him in the ways we can’t.
So Dad, don’t worry, with God’s help, just like you did for me, we’ll be following you all the way Home.
“And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old. I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray. I’ve done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you” (Isaiah 46:4 The Message).