Member Testimony –
To start, thank you to Rob and Joel for inviting me to share my testimony with TPC today. The process was thought-provoking and forced me to think of several times where I thought God was at work in my life.
Two Memories testimony by Tim Burkett Sunday, October 20, 2019
I want to start by sharing two memories of my father from when I was a little toe-haired blond boy of three. Yes, I had hair and, no, it wouldn’t be regularly combed for another eight years.
My first memory was of a Saturday morning waking up and running down the long hall in our West Virginia house. The hall lead into the kitchen and into my father’s waiting arms. In a single bound, I was in his hands and being thrown over his head. The smell of pancakes, maple syrup, bacon and sausage still remind me of this pure joy.
The second memory was standing beside my father with my elbows propped on the bed and carrying on a one-way conversation. My father, Max, had come home early from Saturday golf and was taking a rest. I liked to talk then and still like to talk to this day. I recall it as a one-way conversation, because unknown to me at the time, he was resting on the bed awaiting the ambulance that would take he and my mother to the hospital.
Those are the only two memories I have of our life together and that was the last time I would see him, but not the last time we would carry-on a conversation…
Fast forward 40+ years to a picnic table alongside State Route 119 in Glennville, WV; the second day of my second TPC Youth Group Mission Trip. Further, the second day of Joel’s call with TPC. We were sitting around a picnic table under the glow of a street lamp surrounded by the teens all eating ice cream cones.
Joel posed the question, how and when do we pray to God? Clockwise around the group, thoughtful responses came from our youth. I was in my head thinking about my young life in the Church. Prayer for me came in the traditional venues: in my church pew, at the Altar, or on my knees before bed.
When my turn in the circle came, all I could think was that I routinely have conversations with my father and he has been dead for over 40 years. We talk about being a good father, a good husband, a good friend, and challenges of every variety – why couldn’t I have those same conversations with God and for that matter Jesus. I can’t see them, I can’t necessarily feel them, but nonetheless I sense their presence. In that moment and since that time, I feel free to pray whenever and wherever I find that I need guidance and support. I don’t have to put it off until I am in a special hallowed place.
Yes, I still talk with my father, but now I also routinely speak with God the Father. And no, we haven’t had any three-way conference calls yet, but I am open to the possibility.
I thank TPC for providing these moments of reflection and growth. I look forward to participating in activities in the Church that will stretch my Curiosity and provide me with the Courage to continue to Care for others…blessed be TPC! Thank you and Amen.