North Star Stories

                    Papa Tub: Too bad to be forgiven

I told my mom about the books, and initially she wanted to read them because YOU wrote them, so she ordered the set from Barnes and Nobel. She and Papa Tub are/were avid readers. Although Papa Tub enjoyed that genre, he wasn't a Godly man, never talked about God or church, or anything regarding religion unless it was to take the Lord's name in vain. However, he was listening when I told mom about your books and said they sounded good. The history and time frame really intrigued him.

After mom finished reading "White as Snow" and started on "Rock of Refuge"  he pulled "White as Snow" off of the bookcase and started reading it. Needless to say, this surprised us, especially mom. So began his journey of "Mysterious Ways."

At one point, he was ahead of mom and both were on the same book! When mom wasn't reading, he would read. After he finished all four books, he told mom they were really good and how much he enjoyed them. He really liked how famous people of the era were used in the story and wanted to know if you had any more books.

Whenever I'd go visit mom and Papa Tub, he and I would have coffee together every morning. Both of us were early risers and we'd chat about everything over our cups of coffee. One morning while sitting there, he told me how he'd read your books and how much he enjoyed them. That surprised me and I told him so, mentioning how they're Christian Fiction and mention God, miracles, prayer and such. He agreed there was a lot of that, but it was still a good story.

At that point, I was able to ask him if he believed in God and he assured me he did. Then I asked if he believed Jesus came and died on the cross for us, like it says in the story. He said he wasn't sure about all of that. I had the opportunity to share God's simple plan of salvation with him, but because he felt he had been too bad for so long, salvation couldn't be so simple. I reminded him of the thief on the cross and how readily Christ accepted his plea of forgiveness. Papa Tub walked away from me that day struggling with the simplicity of salvation, but with lots to think about.

That morning was our only conversation on the subject until a few years later when he was lying in the hospital, unresponsive, in a coma after suffering a massive heart attack. The doctor assured us there was nothing they could do and the family was called in to say their good-byes'

We were told that although he couldn't respond, he could hear us, but the unresponsive part wasn't true. He responded to certain people, like when his youngest daughter said her good-bye, tears began to stream down his cheeks. When it was my turn, I leaned down to his ear and reminded him of our conversation at the kitchen table that one morning a few years earlier. I reminded him how easy it is to accept Christ; all he had to do is ask. When mom said it was time to shut off life support, the doctor assured us he would go fast. An hour later, he was still with us. After they moved him to critical care, he was still with us.

At one point the doctor admitted he was confused and wasn't sure what was going on, but I told him I knew. Papa Tub was having a conversation with God about salvation; about how bad he'd been, and if he could really be forgiven. Eight hours later, mom told him it was ok to let go. I kissed him on the forehead and told him I loved him. I laid my head on his chest and began to pray. I asked God to take him home, to take away his pain, to let him breathe the pure air of Heaven, and then I thanked God for being patient with him while he figured out how salvation could be so simple. After saying "Amen,"  we witnessed Papa Tub take his last breath in this life. There was a tear on his cheek and his crooked smile on his face. I knew he was at peace.

I believe with all my heart that "Mysterious Ways" is the reason Papa is at home in Heaven.

~ Cathy