"Like my fathers I am looking for a home
I'm looking for a home beyond the sea
So be my God and guide me till I lie beneath these hills
And let the great God of my fathers be the great God of my children still"
- God of My Fathers, Andrew Peterson
Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending an Andrew Peterson concert with Katie and our best friends. We drove through Atlanta to Jefferson, GA to sit on the front row of Galilee Baptist Church for the show.
This was also the same night my father was admitted to the hospital. My mom called as we were leaving our house and told me that dad had driven himself to the emergency room with a pain in his chest. She told us to go ahead to the concert and that she would keep us updated. She didn't sound worried, so we left and asked her to let us know what happens.
She texted back while we had stopped for supper and said that they found a blood clot in his lung. I asked her what I should do, and she said that there was nothing much we could do but pray. We were on the other side of Atlanta by now, and she told me to just stay and attend the concert.
We were one of the first ones at the church when the doors opened, and for the first time ever we were front and center for the show. After about an hour, Andrew came out and the music began. The show was amazing. After several songs, he introduced a new one called "God of My Fathers." The song had just begun when I felt my phone buzzing in my pocket. I could tell that it wasn't a text, but a call. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and discovered that the call was from my mom. What was I to do? I was sitting on the front row in this packed church in the middle of a song, but I had to take the call! I stood up and briskly walked, head down, to the back of the sanctuary and into the lobby. My phone stopped buzzing, so I dialed back, my mind only guessing at the reason for the call. She was supposed to text me updates, but this was no text.
She answered, "Hello?"
"Hey, what's going on?"
"Your daddy wanted to know if you can preach for him tomorrow."
After Andrew finished the song, I walked back to my seat both a little annoyed and very relieved that the call was not serious. But later, I wondered, "What if it had been serious?" Because I know that one day I will get that call.
I'm sure when that call comes in I will feel a certain amount of anxiety and sadness. I'm sure that I will grieve. But after all is said and done, I think that I will be grateful. I will be grateful for a father who knows, loves, trusts, and serves Christ. I will be grateful for the legacy he leaves behind in his church and his family. I will be grateful to God for His steadfast faithfulness. I will be grateful for a great cloud of witnesses who will spur me on until the day I, myself cross the finish line. And on that day, like Andrew, I will pray with a grateful heart that the great God of my fathers be the great God of my children still.