When I was in Elementary School I attended an assembly led by none other than Ronald McDonald. It was a pretty big deal, and at the time I was sure he was THE Ronald McDonald from TV and not some lame replica from our local chain store.
In that seminar he drove home one point. Don’t smoke.
Done! I had no interest in becoming a third grade smoker so this was an easy lesson to keep.
Yet my little heart was troubled because …my Dad smoked. Surely, I thought, he must not know the things that Ronald McDonald had just to me, so I rushed home from school, hauled out my markers and wrote him a letter. With pictures, asking him to stop smoking.
Turns out he did know that smoking was bad for him and he kept at it anyway, much to my dismay. I wrote him countless letters.
It became my most fervent prayer request: “Dear God, please help my Dad stop smoking so he won’t die. Amen.” (And probably other things about Care Bears and Disney World and mean kids on the playground…)
But God didn’t come through like I hoped he would. Eventually my Dad died of heart disease, which the smoking surely had a role in. Continue reading