Because He Lives

September 07, 2014

It's not uncommon for me to be really moved during worship on Sunday mornings at my church. We are blessed by the most talented musicians each week who lead us right into the presence of the Savior. Our service is mainly a contemporary service, but there is usually a traditional favorite on the set list each week. Often times that hymn is led in a new, fresh arrangement.

This morning we sang "Because He Lives." I wasn't expecting the tears to come, but they did. I found myself a little girl again, standing next to to my mother who stood next to my father in the fourth or fifth row from the back of the First Baptist Church in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. I could literally hear my dad singing along with the congregation. Dad had a really nice voice. He sang a lot, but he never sang for an audience although I think he could have. He sang out in church. He knew all the words by heart. He sang in the car and he whistled around the house. He sang "Good Golly Miss Molly" to my daughter :)

It dawned on me a few years ago that my love for musicals came from my dad. It was an event in our home if Oklahoma or The Music Man were being shown on PBS. He had the soundtrack to Hello Dolly! I can still sing every word along with the movies, and I fought to keep quiet when AHS performed two of them several years ago. 

Dad loved music from the 50s and 60s. I know every Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley song ever recorded. When Mom saw Jersey Boys this summer she remarked that, "Dad would have loved it." I had thought the same thing when I saw the trailer. 

I haven't written about losing Dad yet. I don't exactly know what's OK to share and what's best left to that special place known as "Private." I will say that I think The Lord has protected me from just giving into my grief, and I am thankful for that. Sometimes I find myself just thinking I'd like to have one more day with my strong, healthy dad. That's not exactly wishful thinking because I have a promise that I will see him again. I know beyond any doubt that my father was a Believer. I know he is in Heaven, not because the good he did outweighed the bad (although it surely did) but because he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior when he was young. I think there's enough hope in the coming of that day to comfort me when I grieve on any given day right now. 

Football season is starting. My childhood was probably more influenced by football than musicals. Dad loved the game. He loved the Sooners. He loved Barry Switzer and was really tickled to have been mistaken for him once in a restaurant. He loved the Sallisaw Black Diamonds and football on Friday nights. Maybe it's just the season, maybe it was the hymn this morning, but Dad is on my mind tonight.

When we planned his memorial service, Mom, Anna, and I decided that an upbeat song he loved should be played during the slideshow. It wasn't exactly traditional, but it was a song he loved and I believe he would have really enjoyed it. I'll share it here just so you can enjoy a memory or two of him along with me tonight. 

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