We moved away from New Haven to Louisville during my senior year in high school. Our parents felt that we would have more opportunities if we lived in Louisville and they were willing to pay the price of lost friendships of many years in a small town to do that for us. Our house in Louisville was only a little larger than the two bedroom bungalow in New Haven that had been home for a family of ten.
Daddy and Mama’s bedroom was off the hall leading to the only bathroom in the small house. While in college, I still lived at home and on the way to the bathroom, on Sunday nights, I would see the glow of a cigarette in their darkened bedroom. My Dad was there, unseen but sitting on the edge of the bed, listening to Billy Graham’s weekly radio broadcast.
Years later, after Judy and I married and moved to a new job in Birmingham, I called my Dad on learning he had cancer. He told me that he had experienced a sense of the enfolded arms of Christ and the assurance that “whosoever believes in me shall never die.”
I was greatly comforted after my father had gone on to realize that he had found the Lord in his hour of greatest need. There can be no doubt in my mind that listening to Billy Graham’s weekly messages of hope in Christ and salvation, had been the seed of Daddy’s faith. In his latter years, he found Christ to be his sufficiency.
Daddy was a good father. He was not a perfect man but he was a good man and I don’t ever remember anyone being disciplined who didn’t need it. He led our family in living room prayers when the Church was promoting its then current theme, “The family that prays together, stays together.” To this day, there is a remarkable congeniality and true love among all the offspring of my father and mother.