By Ray Miranda
lead pastor at the Story Church in Wylie
I have to say writing an article is not at the top of my list of things to do. I’m sure you understand. In fact, I started an email to ask someome to help me but started typing this instead. So, let’s see what happens…okay?
I received a text very early last Sunday and it was brother. Soon, after I got word, “Sorry. He didn’t make it.” It was unexpected. I walked around my house, sat some and felt like my heart was pulled out of my chest. Sleeping, was my wife and my 3 kids (14, 11, 5). The clock does what it wants and it just kept ticking. I knew that, at some point, each person would wake up to the type of news that brings tears whether you want them to come or not. This was the worst morning of my life.
It was Sunday and I decided to go through with the church gathering, not telling anyone until after the music. At the time I usually start a sermon, I started with some tears and gave an unplanned, and pretty direct sermon…which came, mostly, from love. I led a prayer gathering for Watkins Elementary that night which was special to me. The next morning, I helped send off my 3 kids to the school (with my baby girl having her first ever first day of school). I drove out to my parents home hours later. The drive, about 9 1/2 hours was filled with more emotions than miles I drove. I walked into the house I grew up in which would never be the same.
My Dad leaves a massive void. But, somehow…I’m thankful. It’s surreal, my tears want to come alone but the memories, stories and laughter just won’t let them. One of things that keeps coming to my mind is that my Dad left at his best. As he got older, he got better which, I know, isn’t the case for so many. He probably realized that he missed some opportunities and could really be set in his ways. But, even with all that…he got better. He loved people. He was quick to help people. He gave away so many things he loved, simply because he enjoyed giving more. He lit up, so far beyond his 5’8 frame whenever he got to see his grandkids…I literally have never seen anyone light up so much. This was true in person, on the phone or over Facetime. Yes, HE GOT BETTER! In fact, he got to a place that he loved the people in his life so much that I know he wanted more time. This is a HUGE part of what makes it hard but the opposite would’ve been harder. He wanted more. I wanted more. My siblings, their families and my wife and kids wanted more. Are there some regrets and “if only” moments? Sure. Still, in all the world, there have been billions of men. He’s the only one I would’ve wanted to be my Dad. That means he is more than 1 in a billion.
Now hear me, he left wanting more and RIGHT NOW, the Lord is giving Him more. He is in a place where there are no more tears, no more pain and no more goodbyes. And what about us?! We want more. With everything I am, I actually believe that one day, we’ll have more. Just imagine what it will be like to close our eyes for the last time on Earth and to open them and see Him again! Could there be anything in all the world better than that?! I don’t place this hope on just something I tell myself so I feel better. I base this on Jesus. I beg you, run to Jesus and never turn back. You have to know, I WANT MY DAD BACK! Because of Jesus I will have him back. This is not good news…this is the best news. It is my hope for you that when you and those you love leave this Earth, you are left wanting more. More than that, I pray that because of Jesus, you get more. #liveabetterSTORY