I sit here with a cup of coffee wondering what to say to you. It was only yesterday that I left. The plane lifted off the ground and at that moment, through tears I could no longer hold back, I realized that I would not see you again in this life. How do I tell you about a life to come, one that I have believed in for some time; how do I show you that this life is so temporary compared to eternity; how do I tell you about a life to come that will have no end; a life where we can be together again.
I pray you will trust me in what I’m about to tell you.
In 1977, I realized that this God that everyone talks about, this Jesus that died on a cross, was more than a religious story, more than something you did on Sunday. I found out that it didn’t matter how good or how bad I was, that this God of the Bible loved me and had a gift for me that I couldn’t earn or buy for myself. This gift was free; all I had to do was accept it. I found out that no matter how good I was I could never earn my way to heaven. I found out that no matter what I had done, God was ready to forgive. In fact He had made a way for me to go to heaven long before I was born; all I had to do was accept it.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Jon, this one verse from the bible became so real and personable to me. I re-read it like this;
For God so loved “LeRoy” that He gave His only begotten Son, that if “LeRoy” believeth on Him, he will not perish, but have eternal life.
I realized that I was not able to do everything right, that there was no way I could obtain eternal life on my own merit. God realized it too and made a way for me, for the world. It was like I was found guilty of a crime and sentenced to die. I was guilty and had no recourse. Then this Man came to my cell and said He would forgive me and take my place and that I could go free. All I had to do was accept His offer, be sorry for my crime and allow Him to help me, because I couldn’t help myself.
I remember saying, “Jesus forgive me where I have failed You, thank You for taking my place on the cross and giving me eternal life. Please come into my life and help me”.
Jon, remember the verse that I personalized…well, God personalized that verse for your mother and He wants to personalize that verse for you.
For God so loved “Jon” that He gave His only begotten Son, that if “Jon” believeth on Him, he will not perish, but have eternal life.
The world will try and rob you of this gift. Satan, who has had a “beef” with God since the beginning of time, will try and rob you of this gift. It’s your gift Jon; it’s personable between you and God. He had you on His mind before you were born. Don’t let anything or anyone rob you of accepting this gift.
You and I never had a lot of time to get to know each other. I wish that could have been different. I wish I could have held you when you were a baby; I wish I could have watched your first steps, heard your first words; been there to pick you up when you fell, to guide you when you couldn’t find your direction.
I wish a lot of things that never were or will be. Here we are now, in a situation we wish wasn’t happening, but it is and there is nothing we can do about it.
Your mother and I are heart-broken, beyond measure. As a nurse, I had the insight to be able to get you off all of those drugs, so that your mind is clear. As a Dad, I have the insight to share with you this gift God wants you to have. You trusted me as a nurse, please trust me as a Dad. Your mother and I want the greatest gift of all for you…eternal life. We want you waiting in heaven for us when our time comes.
I’ve got another cup of coffee now and a fried egg sandwich. I have things to keep me busy today and thoughts of you will be with me. I don’t try to hide the tears when I am by myself and it’s time some of them are shed.
The words in this letter are the most personable words I have ever shared with you, Jon. I couldn’t have got through them face to face.
I love you my son,