(Today's intersecting portal is also an excerpt from my new devotional, Portals To Heaven. Advance orders will be available shortly. Might I suggest them as holiday gifts? Details to come.)
I was thinking how much I missed taking the late Royal A. Cutler, Jr. to his annual birthday breakfast for his beloved blueberry pancakes.
PHOTOS: Dr. Royal Cutler, Jr. (above) being admired by a shocked waitress serving blueberry pancakes. She couldn't believe he was in his 90's. (Below) Royal reveling in the 90-lollypop-bouquet that my wife, Vini, had created.
Our backstory is simple. We had met at church and I asked the recently-retired scientist if he would help me study The Old Testament - a task that seemed overwhelming to me. He agreed. We met weekly and the rest is history. He became my spiritual father and helped show me how scripture plays out in life for the better part of thirty years.
His anecdotes were like footnotes to The Bible. He was showing me that my life was being written in the same manner as that of the heroes of scripture. No one could make The Word come alive like Royal.
Years later, while writing a newspaper column about seniors who were accomplishing great feats, I thought of crafting a post-mortem tribute about Royal. As I wrote the article, it dawned on me that I was one of Royal’s great feats.
No, I was no great student. But he was a great and detailed teacher and he took time every week to disciple me in the nuances of the love of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The words and lessons of scripture came off the page and landed in my heart.
Through his patience, guidance, compassion and wisdom, I also learned a realm of sonship that could only come through time with a father – the very thing that Old Testament Israel had to learn from their heavenly Father.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: One changed life is a great feat. May each of us pour our life-in-Christ into as many sons and daughters as possible and watch them grow as The Word comes alive in their lives.
you, Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.
Isaiah 63:16 (NIV)