As our dads physical body began to little by little shut down on the bed of his affliction, peace was still everywhere. No rush. No fretting. No fear was in the atmosphere. Only the beauty of a heavenly calm. Many of us were in the room and one by one and group by group we each and all said our good byes for now to a man who to us would for ever be a legend of the love of Christ in this world. Dad had preached and inspired people with His gifts and love in many nations and even after several decades, many of the people his life had touched maintained visiting contact with dad every year. You couldn't hang around our dad to long until that precious loving soul touched your heart and life in a manner unforgettable. His mark on my soul is eternal.
Well while each of us were paying our visit, the time came for Larry White to have his moments with dad. Larry was a pastor and a preacher whom our dad had and was mentoring. Personally I did not know Larry real well. Only had met him on a few occasions when he was painting my sister and nieces homes. But I did know that dad thought highly of Larry and Larry felt the same of our dad.
As we backed away and gave them their space I tuned in intently to their conversation. I could tell this man was dear to my dad just by the way dad was talking to him. Maybe it was like Paul and Timothy his student in conversation and spiritual heart to heart fellowship. As they talked and you could tell that dad was really having to exert himself to speak, Dad got to a point in their mix of words and fellowship to tell Larry, "Larry I'm Ready. I'm Ready Larry. I fought the good fight. I kept the faith." Well all deno could do was rain down tears from his eyes.
Dad for my 51 years was a living epistle of Christ and His Spirits love. The kind of love that was unselfish and very very giving. Dad always always had us and others on his heart and mind and actions. He was the man of the second mile. The give them your cloak also man of God. He could take a tractor engine a part and put it back together. Or sow a new dress for Mom and my sisters, dad could do it and did so more than once. He was a preacher, a pastor, a shepherd, an evangelist. A man rich though the world would not classify him wealthy at all. He was such an honest man, a man of integrity that in all the years I've known him only one time was he late paying a bill or a note and after he investigated the why and how come it was late matter. The in conclusion was, Mr. Smith we apologize. It was not tardy. Our fault and they fixed the issue. Dad was that dogmatic about integrity and honesty in all you say and do and in all your business affairs. I wish I could say I was that pure but deno cannot. But I do have his image and standard to keep pressing unto.
Well eventually dad could not speak no more and his eyes for several hours only stared at the ceiling. Nurses told us he can still hear you he just cannot communicate back.
We ended up taking dad to my sisters house to depart and be with Mom and Jesus and the rest of those who had overcome the darkness of this world. After being there several hours my brother and his wife were by dad when he turned to my brothers face and said, I Love You, 3 peaceful quiet breaths later dad was gone to be with Jesus in Paradise. Dad was ready ladies and gentlemen. He said" Larry I fought the good fight. Larry I kept the faith. I'm ready. I'm going home."
Dad to me and my brother and sisters was one of Gods special jewels from God and heavens beautiful grace and love to man. From my birth to his departure Dad loved and served His God and Savior, His Country and His Family and Friends as a servant of Jesus Christ. He never stopped preaching the word, nor did he ever stop loving us all.
God I pray we all become much like dad and Jesus more and more everyday. In Jesus Name Amen.
THIS SONG IS DEDICATED TO OUR DAD, Pastor, Evangelist, Chaplain, Lt. Colonel Gerald H. Smith.
Title: Your Still Lord by Janet Paschal whom dad admired.