Continuing with the music theme…I’ve been listening to a lot of Chris Stapleton. The song that hit me this week was, “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore.”

My dad was a pastor for 47 years. He wasn’t a scholar…he wasn’t a prolific speaker. But, he loved people. He put 100K miles on his car visiting people in the hospital and in their homes. When they were at their worst…he was at his best.

He’s the only man I knew that could walk into a funeral parlor and up to a family going through the worst tragedy of their life and say exactly only what needed to be said….and then right at the right time…he’d tell a joke and have this family who was just crying…laughing and smiling.

I didn’t get that gene. But, because of my dad’s example…I did hold a dying veteran’s hand in a hospital outside of Brainerd, MN. I jumped into counseling many couples in their marriages. I walked beside bros who were going through consequences of poor choices.

My dad spent hours and hours every week praying with people. His love for people was undeniable.

If there is anything we can take from his life…it is that when we have opportunity to be there for people…we need to jump at the chance. You never know what your words…your hand on their shoulder…just your presence will mean to them.

When I was in WA state…on a Saturday night…I came home from church and there was a sheriff in my driveway. He told me, “Son, I hate to break this to you like this, but your father was in a severe car accident and he’s been killed.”

Today I followed daddy down to church
And listened to the preacher read god’s word
We sang his favorite hymn but daddy didn’t make a sound
This afternoon we’ll lay him in the ground
Daddy don’t pray anymore
I guess he’s finally walking with the lord
He used to fold his hands and bow his head down to the floor
But daddy don’t pray anymore

I miss you Pops…thank you Jesus for allowing me to learn to love people from him! Let’s all love a little more…before we don’t pray anymore.

Pete Heiniger

Author Pete Heiniger

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