I would be hard pressed to say that my father was a great example to me or my three brothers. He struggled with alcohol and pills. He was very difficult to talk with. He didn’t show much affection or love towards us kids. He loved money and was stingy. My mom and he divorced when I was 19. The night before he left our home for good I had to fight him because he wanted to beat up my mom charging her with having taken some money. He was drunk and I was fit so it wasn’t too difficult putting him down and then get him to bed.
Our relationship wasn’t very good after this. At the worst we didn’t have any contact for many years. However, things warmed up a bit when we got our kids even though visiting him was an ordeal. It also helped that I some years prior had decided to forgive my father.
He got cancer the last year of his life. It slowly ate him up. Once at the hospital I begged him to receive Christ, but seemingly to no avail.
The night before he died a nurse and a priest visited him in his apartment (he wanted to die in his own bed), and according to the testimonies which were passed on to me my father received Christ that night. They said it was as if the atmosphere in the room completely changed.
My father had nothing to show for himself. No good deeds. No righteous acts. No donating of money. Nada. But, yet, he was now Christ’s. A righteous man. Justified. Jesus once said: “Without me you can do nothing.” God was more than satisfied to find Himself in my father – a now cleansed temple. And by having no works but yet being fully justified my father was turned into the greatest example there is. What a miracle!