My Dad fell down this morning and is in a hospital in East Tennessee tonight. Mom awoke at 6:47 to find him with his feet still inside the house, but his body sprawled onto the concrete slab, one step below their back door. He hadn't even called for her--he just lay there until she got up. Remarkably, he didn't break any bones, but he's not well. He has pneumonia and they await the results of today's CT scan to see if a stroke was involved.
Dad's been struggling with a range of ailments these last few years and an event like this makes us all really nervous. In honesty, there have been weeks where I was amazed he was still walking. Certainly, the lack of broken bones reminds us that he is still a bit tougher than we thought--at least on the outside. His insides are a mess, but there's more to this.
On the inside, Dad has been softening. It must have been over a decade ago when I explained that I wasn't going to be an engineer and was moving toward full time ministry. He was disappointed and it hurt, but I only hold onto that memory for one reason: he's not disappointed anymore. I don't remember exactly when the changes started. After his first heart attack, our relationship began to shift. By the time Grandaddy died, we would have regular conversations about the Bible and God's goodness. A trip to Virginia about three years ago was the clincher. Something happened on that trip.
Dad has always believed, but I'm not so sure he used to believe that the forgiveness God offers really applied to him personally, and I don't think he really believed it was free. He does now. Don't read ahead--those of you who know Rex Pruitt wouldn't really call him tender. But if you know him well, you know that he sits by the beds of those who are dying, and he does the laundry on Mondays and he teaches the Bible to his class every Sunday. There are hints of Galatians 5:22-23 on the insides.
Daddy's proud that I am in ministry now--he tells me whenever he sees me. I'm proud of him too. Please pray for him to heal. We want him to see me graduate from seminary. And pray for mom too--she found her husband lying in a doorway this morning. I'm sure we can imagine what her fears must have been. And pray for my sister, who is taking care of them.