In 1973, Chip and I had just gotten married and were living in Florida. In the fall of that year I got the call that my dad had suffered a very serious heart attack. His condition was so critical that I was advised not to come home because the shock of seeing me could have actually made it worse. There was nothing to do but pray. At the time I was working as a Speech Therapist in a clinic that was about an hour away from home so my surroundings were somewhat unfamiliar. But on this particular day I was compelled to search for a church over my lunch hour to pray on Dad’s behalf.
So I started driving through the streets of Melbourne. Eventually, I spotted a church and made my way up to the front door, not really expecting it to be unlocked. Even back in 1973 not many churches left their doors unlocked. But to my grateful surprise, it was open! That in itself began to stimulate my faith. As I knelt before the altar in that little chapel, not knowing whether Dad would live or die, I did find the assurance that it was God’s will for him to be saved. So, I prayed, “Father, I believe You are speaking to me that You want to save my dad, so I’m asking in faith that You spare his life until he finds You.” That was my only point of faith—believing God wanted my dad to be saved. So, I planted that seed in faith.
Well, my father recovered from the heart attack. It would be another seventeen years before he accepted Christ, but from that day on, in my mind it was a done deal. At 65 years-old, my dad accepted Jesus, and experienced one of the most dramatic conversions I have ever witnessed. Almost twenty years later, that seed of faith stands like a mighty oak.