The Words of the Gow Family

A Fatherís Lesson of Love for His Son

Haven Bradford Gow
February 2005

A distraught mother recently sent this message to Rev. Billy Graham: "My son...died of cancer recently.Ö He was a fine Christian, and many people prayed and believed heíd get well, but he didnít. Why would God take someone like him?" Rev. Graham responded with these words of consolation: "No matter what happens to us, God still loves us and He still cares for us. He knows your pain and heartache, and he knows the grief you and your sonís family are going through.Ö Take comfort in the fact that your son knew Christ and that he now is safely in heaven beyond the pain and sorrow of this world. And take comfort also in the fact that someday you will see him again. "The grief-stricken motherís letter and Rev. Grahamís response reminded me of my late father, Joseph W. Gow. A few years ago I discerned a glimpse of Godís love and what heaven must be like as I watched my father die a noble and courageous death from a cancer that had spread throughout his body and brain. My father purposefully came home from the hospital that day, just so he could prove to me how much he loved me.

Fearing that he would die in a dreary hospital room without having had the opportunity to say good-bye to me, my father ordered the doctor and nurses to permit him to accompany me home, despite the fact he would have to endure excruciating pain.

As I was driving him home, I kept looking at my father in the rearview mirror and thinking about how noble and courageous he was and how precious was each second he remained alive. In his own bed, and with me by his side, my father died with peace of mind and soul; he understood that one not only must live nobly but die nobly as well.

I thanked God for inspiring and giving my father the strength and nobility and generosity of mind, spirit and character to show me his selfless, sacrificial and effusive love. And then I experienced a flash of insight: My fatherís love was a reflection of Godís love for me. God made my father for eternity. And when it is time for me to go, God will reunite me with my father.

Mr. Gow is a TV and radio commentator and writer who teaches religion to children at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Greenville, MS.

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