By Harry Hull
My father was killed in a mine accident on his 53rd birthday in August, 1983. He was a strong, honest, disciplined, and hardworking man, who also made time to care for anyone in need. Though he was big and sturdy in structure, his heart was soft, kind, and caring. He was the one who always seemed to have the answers when anybody needed thoughtful advice or a helping hand.
Several months after his passing, my sister convinced my mother and my Dad’s parents to go camping with her in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. This had been a favorite place and past time of Dad’s and they all had joined him several times over the years. But for some reason, this trip was not going well. My sister recalled a lot of resentment, hurt feelings…and short tempers seemed to flourish amongst the three elder members of the group.
My sister told me that she was about at the end of her wits in trying to find a way to get the others to surrender their anger and hurt and to just get along and enjoy what Dad would have loved, being in the Smokeys and having them all there. Being a faithful Christian and peace maker herself, she turned to prayer asking not only God’s wisdom but tried to reflect of the advice that our Dad might offer.
She said that on a particularly bad evening that the group went out to eat and the anger and resentment was heavy. She prayed hard to God to send to her the words to help heal the broken hearts. As they entered a family restaurant she specifically prayed asking God, “I so wish you were here Dad….you would know what to do.”
The restaurant was not really busy and the four of them were the only folks waiting to be seated. After a few minutes the hostess approached and said, “Table for five?” To which my sister replied, “No, just four.” The hostess seemed mildly shocked and even looked around a little before saying, “What happened to the other man that has been standing here with you?”
My sister immediately was overcome with the sense of the Holy Spirit in their presence! She was able to turn her concerns over to God…and rely more on His guidance and less on her fears.
From that point on, she became the healing instrument that helped the broken pieces of our family become a whole vessel again.