I receive this wonderful blog called Coffee for Your Heart, by Holley Gerth. Each Wednesday, we are given a prompt to write about for the following Wednesday’s post. Last Wednesday, the prompt was “Who Inspires You?” and I instantly knew I would be writing about my daddy. What I didn’t know at the time, was that when I wrote this blog, my daddy would have joined the two greatest loves of his life in heaven, his beloved Jesus and his beloved wife, my mother.
Edward Bailey Evans was the most outstanding and upstanding Christians anyone was privileged to know. What one saw in public was also the exact same person we saw at home. My dad loved God with all his heart and during his lifetime, he served as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher, Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer. He (and my mother) were faithful in attendance to church every week until my mom was to ill to go. My dad stayed with her then, refusing to leave her side to go to church, or pretty much anywhere else except his doctor’s appointments. My daddy was faithful in giving of his time, talents and money. Before he wrote any checks for the month, he always wrote his tithe check. And if he was not able to go to church, he made sure the check was mailed or after they moved in with my sister and brother-in-law, he sent his tithe check with them.
My daddy was a great man of prayer. Every night, without fail, he and my mom would pray together before retiring for the evening. If you were a guest in their home you were politely included in the prayer time. As their family grew (2 daughters and 2 sons-in-love; 5 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren) they both would name off each person – by name and for the most part, in the order of their birth. It was a rare evening for them to miss praying together and praying for each of their family members.
My daddy left a letter for us to be opened upon the event of his death. Among many things he wrote in the letter was the fact that he was sorry he wasn’t leaving much money. In fact, he said that twice.
“Daddy, we don’t want your money. What you left us far outweighs any amount of money you could have left.”
“You left us the legacy of a Christian home. Until just before my senior year of high school, we lived less than a block from the church we belonged to. Postal employees had nothing on the Evans family because rain, sleet, snow, shine, ice, hail – you name it – we were going to be in church. Weather permitting, we walked, even in the snow and ice.”
“You showed my sister, Marie, and me, and everyone who knew you how to live a Christian life, and you set the bar high. You were a man of faith and trust, of compassion and mercy (except for those times when I really got in trouble), and of grace.”
“You demonstrated your work ethic to Marie and me. When I was the ripe old age of 16 and thought I knew everything you told me I wasn’t to give 100% to my job, I was to give 150% to my job.’No one is irreplaceable,’ you said. ‘There will always be someone waiting to give their 150% when you are only giving 100% or less.’ “
“One of your most outstanding qualities that you left to us is your love. Yes, there were times when you and mom argued (what married couple doesn’t) and times when your punishment for my crime seemed unreasonable. Looking back, I know it wasn’t unreasonable – in fact, it was quite lenient. Your love for me and Marie, all of your family, never wavered, was never conditional upon our behavior or anything. It was, in fact, the perfect example of our Heavenly Father’s love for us.”
“For all of these wonderful legacies, and more, we will always be thankful. Most of all, we are thankful that we will see you again one day because we have the eternal promise as believers of seeing you and mother again one day!”
“Daddy, I love you and miss you!”
(This is the last photo taken of Daddy by his grandaughter, Tana Lyle. It was taken during the recent snow. She was outside with her children and he was inside looking out the window at his great grandchildren playing in the snow. When she saw him looking out the window, she snapped this picture.)