***UPDATE*** 1/7/09 After talking to my dad last night, I found out that I didn’t get the whole story. It turns out that this man was praying with my grandfather, and not just praying for them from a distance. Either way, it is just a great story about the diligence of this man to pray for others.
A great man* of God went Home recently. He was a good friend to our family, and his family is as dear to me as my own. We were travelling when we received the call shortly after his passing, and we cried all the way to our destination. He was a wonderful man, and his obedience to the Lord touched more lives than anyone on earth could ever count.
I could tell you a hundred stories about this man that would make you cry, but I’ll settle for just one that made me cry yesterday. My father told this story at church, and I had never heard it before. Before my grandfather died (my dad’s father, that is), one day my Nanny June looked out of the house to see a small gray-haired man kneeling in front of her house praying with my Papa Ed. It was this great man. He just happened to be in their town that day, and knew where they lived, so he took a few moments out of his day to kneel in the grass and say a prayer with my family.
This man’s whole life was like that. Most of the lives that he touched are probably not anyone you would know. Oh, maybe you know a few of them, but you don’t know a lot of them. I don’t know a lot of them. I know only a handful, and my hands are small. He visited people that no one else would take the time to visit. He travelled thousands of miles a week to deliver his message of hope. He went to places that you and I would never dream of going. He took chances that most never have the courage to take. He never had the fame of Billy Graham, he never had a university like Oral Roberts, but I know that his reward is great.
He will be missed by so many people, but most of all by his family. If you think of it, say a prayer for them once in awhile, that they will have comfort and peace. Because it is possible that at some time in your life that little gray-haired man may have been kneeling in prayer for you, but you just weren’t looking outside.
*You’ll forgive my vague references to this man. Some of you probably know who I am talking about, but out of respect for his family’s privacy, I chose not to mention his name.