If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Twenty-one years ago Sunday was the day my father died. He had fallen on a parking lot eighteen days earlier—as a result of a stroke, so far as any of us could tell. Click here to read about my last hour with him, a poignant story that was published by the American College of Chest Physicians in 2002.
Dad was not a touchy-feely sort of person. For some reason, he was never able to express his love, yet I never doubted he loved me. He gave me my first set of golf clubs—a mismatched collection, but at least a start—when I was eight years old. From then through my high school graduation, he and I would play together with some degree of regularity, which gave me a relationship with him that my siblings didn’t enjoy.
From college up until I was around forty, we saw each other now and then, but not often. Our relationship became a bit distant during these years, although there was never any sort of split between us.
Circumstances put us back together much more closely throughout my forties, and we established a closer relationship than we’d ever had before. He and my business partner and I would get together frequently for card games, and Dad and I began to enjoy each other’s company more than ever.
I got the phone call early on Friday afternoon, March 13, 1992, and immediately went to the emergency room where he’d been taken. He was lucid and feeling okay by the time I got there, but that night he went into a coma from which he never recovered.
My brother and my sister and her oldest niece flew in when I told them what happened. They all had to go home after a couple of days, but my brother and sister both came back for the funeral.
Sunday, as I was reflecting on all this, I thought about the dates once more. I’d always thought it ironic, or at least unusual, that he went into the hospital on the 13th and died on the 31st. Reversible numbers and things like that always fascinate me, but this time a new thought struck.
He went in on 3-13. Add those digits together, and the total is seven. He died on 3-31. Again, the digits add up to seven. Okay, a coincidence, but then my mind began to wander a little further.
Seven is generally considered by Bible students as God’s number of perfection. Dad was far from a perfect man. A great man in many ways, he also had great faults. But on 3-31, as a result of what happened on 3-13, he was perfected. This man who, like all of us, had an imperfect body and an imperfect character, but on that day, his imperfections were traded for perfection. The blood of Jesus, which he had believed in ever since he was fourteen years old, now poured over him at age seventy-seven and perfected him through and through.
I know that if he’d died a day sooner or a day later he would still have been with Jesus. But he didn’t. He died on 3-31. 3+3+1=7. Perfect.
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.
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Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.