Since he died in 1995, people have told me how much fun it was to talk with him over coffee or a meal. But, the closer you got to him — and my mom was the closest — he was Judge Jury and
see his eyeballs frantically moving behind the closed eye lids. For weeks, he had not been able to talk or eat — his favorite pastimes. I knew at that moment that the real Judge, the real Jury, the real Executioner had taken away everything he liked in order to get his attention.
For the previous 20 years, multiple times each week, I had been waiting Executioner. On one occasion, I remember him picking up the phone, listening impatiently and then snarling back, “l ain’t got time for that!” slamming the phone back. Therefore, the person on the other end of the call, my mother, had to figure out, on her own, how to get home after running out of gas. He was Judge, Jury and Executioner. That was the model I was following until I saw him in hospice care the last time.
I could for this. I believed that the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly oppression from my Korean War Veteran father would finally be removed from me when he died. In fact, I knew I could not get married the second time until he died. I remember my X — with all her faults — telling me once that I may be starting to imitate him. So, as I watched his eyeballs moving, I knew I had to change.
Multiple times over the previous months and years, a local business man had been inviting me to his shop. He had been facilitating a 2 hour weekly men’s Bible study before work. I finally accepted. 6 to 10 of us men would go around and read one verse each from the Bible and then discuss the passage. I do not remember the exact moment, but during that time, I received saving faith in Jesus. I finally felt free to get married again.
My mom was the glue that held our family together, and perhaps once a year she had enough courage to put my father in his place. As I look back, I know things would have been different in our family if mom would have done that every week. The Holy Spirit has been changing me and on occasion He also uses my wife to put me in my proper place.
Just recently, I found out that a respected neighbor had invited my cancerstricken father to come to his home. He was giving neighbors an opportunity to watch a film on the life of Jesus and giving them an opportunity to respond to him. In spite of all that I have experienced from my father, I still hope that his frantic mind had locked on to that content while in hospice care.
I really hope Dad — who probably learned good and bad things from his dad – met the Judge… Jury and… Savior.
Written by D. T.