`No, Pa.No! Let's go in now.'he begged, as he tugged hard on Pa's hand. Too drunk to argue very much, pa tottered up the steps and opened the door. He tried to tiptoe to a back seat, but his attempts at being quiet were anything but successful. Finally he and Johnny were seated.
When Pa became accustomed to the warmth and the bright lights he tried to focus his gaze upon the man behind the pulpit. With a startled gasp he begin mumbling to himself.
"Bob my old Pal, Bob it can't be" He remembered the hours he and Bob had spend together in bar rooms all over the city. But it was his old Pal. Bob suddenly the preaching stopped. Upon recognizing the Pa, the preacher without a moment's hesitation was out of the pulpit and striding down the aisle to where Pa and Johnny sat in the back seat.
"John" exclaimed the preacher putting his arm around Pa's shoulders. "John you know as well as any body the kind of life I used to live. But look what has god done for me. He can do for you. Come
on John come with me."
Pa got to his feet and taking Johnny by the hand, he walked slowly,very unsteadily to the altar. There he knelt, with little Johnny on one side and friend Bob on the other, and cried out heart full of shame and despair, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner".
Then the miracle happened the miracle, which only God can make happen. When Pa rose from his knees, he was absolutely sober. His mind was as clear as well. In the moment of his conversion, God forgave all his sins, but in addition, the affects of not only that days drinking, but years of drunkenness left him completely. Pa shook
hands with a few people with whom he was acquainted, walked unfalteringly to the door and he and little Johnny went out into the night.
"Johnny ", Pa marveled, as he looked up into the heavens "those stars are brighter than I have ever seen them before They look like diamonds."
Ma was home when they arrived and hearing the unfamiliar song of sound of Pa, s study footsteps, she quickly opened the door. Pa put his arm around her in an unfamiliar gesture of tenderness and his
voice broke as he said, "Sophie, you have got a new husband from tonight on."
Before he could tell her about what had happened in the Gospel meeting, Ma cried out happily" God has kept His promise I knew He would not fail".
We did a lot of crying and laughing and some more crying that night. Then Pa got out a battered Bible his mother had given him many years before and tried to weep from the third chapter of John. Pa had not much schooling and was not a good reader, but with Ma's help he struggled through the portion of scripture. Then we all Knelt and
that night the family gathered about for our first family altar.
The next morning when Pa left the house to go to work we just could not help peeking out of the windows. Down our street was a tavern.For years Pa had stopped there every morning to get his morning eye- opener-`just a few beers.' Our hearts were barely beating as we watched Pa approach the tavern. Was he hesitating at the door? We all
held our breath then we saw him glance skyward, as if breathing a prayer for strength. Straightening his shoulders with firm steps, Pa
walked on past.
Ma knelt right down. "Thank you, Lord," she said simply never again drank a drop of liquor.
Strangely enough, though Pa was never able to read a newspaper or book he became a very fluent reader of the Bible, and in spite of his lack of forma education became a preacher of some note in that
section of our state.