by Robin Sam

MY father-in-law passed away on Sept 17. At 8.05 in the morning, the doctors declared Lucas Baby dead. After 9 days of battle with death, he surrendered to the debilitating clot in the brain that left his speech impaired, damaged his already weak kidneys and affected his respiratory ability.
 
When he was rushed to the hospital on Sept 9, we knew it was serious. Yet, we fervently hoped he would come out of it as a victor – like he had done in the past three occasions. After all, he was a great survivor. He had battled the odds all his life. He was born into a peasant’s family as the second child among seven. He was a school drop-out who left his hometown at 12 in search of a better life.
 
And for almost the next six decades, he taught himself various skills and trades. With sheer grit and determination, he clawed his way up and scaled quite a lot of peaks.

Dad was a great source of strength to me. I'll now miss his presence. He treated us (the three sons-in-law) like his own sons; sometimes we were like his friends. He joked with us but never pulled our legs. Self-deprecating humor and a disarming humility made him the man that he was.
 
He did not wear his faith on his shirt sleeve but yet in his own way believed in the saving power of Jesus Christ.

He had a great heart that could empathize with the poor, the weak and the lowly. In all the 10 years that I have known him, he never once cribbed about the pain he endured, never once bitched about anybody and always spoke well of his siblings, children and friends and even helped total strangers whenever they were in pain or trouble - even when others insisted they didn't deserve a helping hand.
 
I always thought he never knew fear! He feared no man. I was often filled with awe at his physical strength. Even at 70, he walked ramrod straight and could throw a crushing blow if someone messed with him.
 
Yet, he had this godly fear in him that made him honest in his business dealings. He told us he did not want to bring anybody's curses on his children and their kids. His prayer was like the publican’s – contrite, simple and direct. It was filled with trust. It appealed to the goodness and tenderness of God.
 
My only regret is that I did not tell him often that I loved him; that he was dearer to me than my own father.
 
God made me share the Gospel with him couple of months before he died. A few of us interceded with God on his behalf even as he lay on his deathbed in the hospital, breathing hard, for the assurance of his salvation.
 
I believe that we'll see him in the Lord's company in eternity. Like they say, they don't make men like that anymore.
 
The Christian Messenger