Dr. Rocky Wallace – “In My Darkest Days, I Will Praise Him”
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” -- Psalm 23:4
I sometimes struggle with the word “holiness” when used to attempt to describe human action or attitude. For too often, the term gets confused with piety or self-righteousness, and people are turned off by what they perceive as pharisaical living.
But recently, an older man in our church has reminded me through his faith and action that “holiness” is all around us and is indeed a level of spiritual maturity for every Christian to strive for. Just a few months ago, Gerald’s wife of over fifty years suddenly developed a complicated illness that diminished her capacity significantly. Shockingly, Jane spent her last months in numerous hospitals and nursing homes, and died with some form of dementia that was brutal to observe as it robbed her and her family so quickly of her health. And during the stress of Jane’s sudden illness, Gerald himself had to have heart surgery.
Six weeks after Jane’s death, Gerald’s oldest son, Kevin, only forty eight years “young,” died suddenly of a heart attack. And only days after that, he lost a brother-in-law to cancer. Counting the loss of a sister the summer previous, Gerald had been through the pain of death almost daily for over a year. But what did he share with his church family about this Job-like experience? He has repeated over and over, “How could I not be grateful? Look what God has blessed me with all these years.”
Now, when I stand in the pulpit on Sundays and glance at Brother Gerald, with tears in his eyes but with faith as strong as a rock, I see “holiness.”
- Dr. Joseph “Rocky” Wallace, Assistant Professor of Graduate Education