He lay upon his deathbed, a brilliant man — genius in many ways. He had an uncommon grasp of science, literature, and mathematics. Military-educated. “Self-made,” he would have said. I felt his influence in my life for 30 years, my wife since her birth.
He was a staunch Bible skeptic. He was his own god, and tore a hole in life and relationships to fit his paradigm of morality.
Now, he could not change the past — or his soiled bed sheets. No IV drip. He wanted to die. No one visited him except for my wife and me. He could not express his thoughts in words anymore.
But I could hear him…
I was 17, and we sat together on his front porch. I waited for his daughter to finish her piano lessons inside. I was expressing what I believed it meant to “follow Jesus Christ.”
After a pause, he stared off for a few seconds and said, “Things are not always black and white. There is a place for gray…”
And that is where he chose to live for 72 years. In the gray, the opaqueness, in the “I create my own standard for right and wrong” place.
At the hospice his daughter leaned close to his pale cheek and told him that God loved him. That simply by asking for forgiveness, Jesus Christ would wipe away the inner corruption of gray that caused his torment.
In moments or hours or days he might be gone. We didn’t know…
She said more, and he responded the only way he could: with a nod.
His daughter’s tears finally pierced the gray, we believe. He stepped out of his shadow-life and into the “Light of Life.”
Jesus was The Way.
“…on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Matt. 4:16)
[Jesus said] “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.”