What words would I use to describe Denny’s life? Why that particular language? Denny was many things . . . a gifted storyteller, clever jokester, talented singer, and snazzy dresser. Above all else . . . Denny was a hard worker. Whatever his role or responsibility – baseball player, military personal, PUD employee, small business owner, or school district custodian – he did his very best all of the time. He often pulled the weight of others. The family joke was that he did my mother’s work for her (he was always by her side as she managed apartments). We all often wondered when and if he would ever slow down and just rest.
Anyone who knew Denny had to notice the drastic difference that took place in him during his final hours. I am convinced the transformation can be attributed to the fact that he stopped “working” for himself and began “working” for his Creator. Facing death in the face . . . he finally came to realize that he could not lead his own life . . . he finally asked for forgiveness from God for his rebellion. In fact, upon my last visit with him, I overheard him talking on the back porch . . . he began by reciting the Alcoholics Anonymous Prayer and continued on by sharing his deepest thoughts with Christ . . . he was sorry for much of what he did . . . and he understood that all he had left was today. He thus spent much of his final months asking forgiveness from those who he loved . . . even reconciling with his daughter who he had not talked to for nearly twenty years. Denny had truly admitted that he had sinned against God, he had come to believe that Christ offered him the life he had always been looking for, and thus committed to trust and obey him with what little time he had left. Is God’s grace big enough to forgive a man in thee last hour of the workday?