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Chapter Eighteen
With A Little Persuasion

"We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:10,11 ~

Though the morning before had been clouded by the remembrance of his daughter's stubbornness and the seeming impossibility of his ever reaching her, Chuck's spirits were high. Today, anything seemed possible, even her conversion. Being a new Christian, Chuck's faith was like a newborn calf, who, after just learning to stand, was now attempting to run. The necessity of his situation, however, dictated that he begin now.

As the trio gathered together for breakfast, Chuck silently prayed for God's wisdom and guidance. To his surprise, Vera did not set a place at the table for herself. She had plans of her own.

After finishing her morning duties, Vera left to be with her husband at Mullen-Overholt. Her husband, Arnold, was unable to feed himself, so it was Vera's routine to hurry to the nursing home at his meal times, knowing that he accepted food from her hand much easier than from a stranger's. Ever since Chuck's arrival, Vera found it difficult to spend as much time at the nursing home with her husband as she would have liked. While her presence calmed Arnold, it wasn't safe to leave Chuck home by himself. Vera knew how demanding it was to be the primary caregiver to one person with Alzheimer's-- but two! The mere thought of it was enough to reduce her to tears. Vera was sixty-six, and not in the best of health. As much as she loved her family, it was impossible for her to be in two places at once. However, since today Chuck had made it known to her that he and Charlie were going to have a talk that morning, Vera hurried off to the nursing home with the assurance that her son would not be by himself.

After breakfast was over, Chuck put his plan into action.

"A talk about what?" asked Charlie, sitting down on the living room couch as her father had instructed.

"The Overholt family tree has a long tradition of professing Christ," began Chuck. "Some of them, no doubt, really were believers, but I'm sad to say that Christianity in our family was largely taken for granted. People never gave it much serious thought. They would never admit to it, but they treated Christianity as though it were genetic, something you were born with and couldn't help being; one had brown hair, blue eyes, the 'Overholt disposition,' and an automatic place in the family pew every Sunday. This was the way I was brought up, Charlie," explained Chuck.

"As dead as it all was, you don't even have that. When you were little, I didn't raise you with even the slightest outward appearance of religion. Now here you are, on the verge of your adult life. I raised you on dangerous ground, and the time is growing so late, Pumpkin. When everything falls apart, there's nothing earthly that you can hold on to-- but to the Saviour."

Chuck looked into his daughter's dark eyes. "That's the way it was for me. I was drowning and there was none to save me. It wasn't until I called to God for help, that the storm became a calm. It reminds me very much of Psalm one hundred and seven," said the sincere father, opening his Bible. "He [the LORD] commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind," read Chuck, "which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet." Chuck smiled peacefully. "Have you ever heard it put so plainly?" he asked. "It wasn't until my need became so overwhelming that I finally resorted to the LORD!" Chuck's voice was filled with so much sincerity that tears came to his eyes.

Charlie rigidly sat on the couch as though made of stone. Why was he doing this? Had the illness so affected his mind that he couldn't see he was making a fool of himself? He was the parent; he should be in control of the situation; it was his job to tell her everything was going to be all right, not crying in front of her and humbling himself in such a stupid manner.

continued on next page...
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