After about fifteen minutes, my Grandda's sobbing had slowed and he was taking out his handkerchief to blow his nose. I sat down at his feet, and asked, "Would you like to tell me about it, Grandda? I am a very good listener and it would just be between the two of us, because I am good at being a friend, too."
His bright blue eyes looked sharply at me, as if seeing me for the first time.
His eyes watered again, and he whispered, "You look just like my Seamus right now, when he used to ask me... ask me...never mind what he said. It's not important. If you promise this goes no farther, I will tell you, but I'm trusting you, boy, and if you tell, it will go bad for you."
"I promise, Grandda. I am a Christian and I keep my word."
"When I heard your Grandma had been drinking every night, I knew I was responsible for bringing it into the house. I used to drink really bad and beat my children if they even looked at me cross-eyed; sometimes they didn't have to do anything at all. Martha was not like she is now, she spent her time working hard, but trying to protect them from me. Then when they each ran off and she had no one, she turned meaner than me. I quit drinking and started going to church. Pretty soon, I had convinced myself and others that I was a pretty good fellow, and called myself a Christian. Only Martha knew the difference. She began pretending, too. Now, we're both members of the local church and had convinced ourselves that we were okay."
"But Grandda, wouldn't you like to really be a Christian? You can, you know. Ask Jesus to come into your heart, believe in Him, Confess your sins and accept his forgiveness. Please do it for yourself."
"I'm too old, boy, He don't want nobody like me."
"But He loves you, Grandda! He died for you, you, Grandda. He'll save you, if you only ask and believe and say yes. You've already been confessing your sins to me, now, tell him!"
By this time, I was on my knees at his feet, pleading with him, tears rolling down my face, as well.
He bent over once again, with the tears falling, and began to plead with Jesus for forgiveness and to confess his past sins, and although it sickened me to hear all the words coming from his mouth, it made me happy to know he was really talking to Jesus. A few minutes later, a look of pure joy came over his face and I knew he had believed and accepted God's forgiveness.
I jumped up and hollered and clapped him on the back! Then I hugged him and he hugged me back.
Then Grandda did something that made me realize his experience had been real. He asked for my forgiveness. I nodded and said, "Of course, Grandda!"
He immediately ran into the bedroom and shut the door.
(To be continued)