Easter season is a joyous time. After the sadness of Good Friday we renew our commitment to do God’s will and recognize that just like Jesus, we must turn our will over to him to reap the reward. Jesus’ sacrifice had been hard for me to comprehend, yet this year, through the death of my own father, I have grown to better understand what this means as I found myself called to ministry I had not previously imagined. He called, so I listened.
Four years ago when I was 21 years old my father, a long-time smoker and a young man himself, was diagnosed with lung cancer. Although he cared for his body through exercise and eating well, he never took the advice I offered throughout my childhood for him to stop smoking. As his disease progressed, it was painful to watch a man who had prided himself in what he could do for his family now unable to walk more than four steps without stopping to rest because he could no longer breathe. Often, I did not know how to be of comfort to him. I tried to spend time just sitting with him so he wasn’t alone. If he wanted to talk, we did, and if not we were silent. After just four short months he lost his battle to the disease, and I lost my father.