He always kept away from Bible studies or anything that would expose him to the Gospel too much. All that changed, though, in the summer of 1992. Dad hadn’t told me at the time but he knew that he was slowing down. He didn’t really know what was wrong but he had a sense that he was getting sicker and sicker. For many of the previous years he had enjoyed better health than during those years before and after my mother’s death. This change had been fairly sudden and it had frightened him a little.
Having completely changed my approach to him the year before, I knew God wanted me to back off and to leave it to Him to show dad the truth. As I said already I wasn’t naturally patient but the Lord really helped me with this one. We had gone to Paris in September on a short holiday with two friends from the church. When we got home my dad went to the doctor and eventually spent a little time in hospital. Around this time dad did something which totally shocked me.
There was a pastor from an American Church visiting for a few weeks (Yes, I had come to terms somewhat with my suspicion of all Americans!) and he had offered to do a study on the book of Revelation. My dad was very interested, as he had always found it curious that the Catholic Church seemed to avoid this particular part of the Bible. He was so interested, in fact, that he suggested having one of the series of studies in our home. This was truly astounding. On several occasions I had hosted Bible studies and prayer meetings in our home but dad had always stayed in another room, only joining us for the cup of tea and the chat afterwards. Now he actually wanted to have a Bible study for himself!!
Nothing particularly dramatic happened at that study and my dad didn’t show any more signs of spiritual curiosity at the time. In all the conversations we had, especially since I had stopped trying to browbeat him into the Kingdom of God, we had agreed to differ on most things. He had developed a very strong trust in the Bible as time went on, though. Out of the blue he would start up conversations on the differences between his religion and the Bible. On one occasion he read a book dealing with the history of the Popes. He agreed that they were only ordinary men but he said his faith wasn’t in them but mainly in Mary and the Mass.