Seeing Jesus

THIS POST, I’LL LIKELY BE UNABLE to finish without a few tears.

Let me begin when, as a young pastoral intern fresh out of the Seminary back in September, 1969, I stood in the pulpit of Dallas First Seventh-day Adventist Church at 4009 North Central Expressway, for my first sermon in the “big” church (I also had responsibility for the “satellite” church in suburban Mesquite, Texas).

There on the pulpit, where only the speaker could see it, was a printed banner with the words, “Sir, We Would See Jesus” (quoting the words of the Greeks who lodged this request with Philip in John 12:21).

Perfect counsel for any preacher about to open the Word. And those words would become my benchmark for all future times I’d be called on to preach.

Over 30 years later, I sat on another September morning with my family at the hospital bedside of my dying father. He’d struggled for some time with congestive heart failure—and a few days earlier, had experienced a stroke. He was in a comatose state and nearing the end.

My family and I leaned in closely and whispered assurances of our love—and our hopes of seeing him soon in a better place.

“Dad, you’re going to see Jesus soon,” I told him.

Suddenly, his eyes—till then tightly closed—opened, and he seemed to be struggling to raise his head. Looking around at us, he gasped and echoed, “See Jesus!….See Jesus!” Then he lay back, closing his eyes again.

Soon after, he breathed his last. We gathered on an Idaho hillside four days later for his graveside service—while 2,500 miles east of us, the Twin Towers fell.

Dad was a good man—flawed, but decent and deeply committed to Jesus. I have no doubt that he will indeed soon “see Jesus.” And I plan to be there when he does.

My first sermon at Dallas was on the second coming. Even so, come quickly, Lord!

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Loree Waite on September 15, 2007 at 2:11 am

    This post speaks right to my heart. I’ve often thought that, at those final moments of my life, I’d want to cling to the hope we have in Jesus. I’d want it to seem like moments until I could actually be with Him. And then I stop and think…He is already here with us, and we breeze right by Him every day, too busy to stop and share and listen. This post inspires me to strive to live in a way that maintains that relationship. It’s like a song that Lynda Randle (gospel singer) does…I bought the CD yesterday. My favorite chorus lyrics go like this:

    “One day Jesus is going to call my name, I want to get so close to Him that nothing’s changed, when one day Jesus calls my name.”

    Reply

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