Fred Craddock says that his mother took him to church when he was growing up; his father wouldn’t go. When asked about going to church, his father would always say, “Church doesn’t care about me. Church wants another name, another pledge.” That’s what he always said.
Sometimes the preacher would come over, and Mr. Craddock always told him the same thing: “Church doesn’t care about me. Church wants another name, another pledge.”
Occasionally they would have a revival, and when the guest preacher came to call, you know what the response was—“Church doesn’t care about me. Church wants another name, another pledge.” That’s what he always said.
There was one time he didn’t say it. He was in the veteran’s hospital, and he was down to 73 pounds. They had taken out his throat, and said, “It’s too late.”
Fred flew in to see his Dad. Looking around the room, he saw flowers lining every windowsill and a huge stack of cards beside the bed. Every flower and every card was from someone at the church.
His father noticed Fred reading a card. He could not speak, so he took a Kleenex box and wrote on the side of it a line from Shakespeare—“In this harsh world, draw your breath in pain to tell my story.”
Fred asked, “What is your story, Daddy?”
And he wrote, “I was wrong.”
In spite of all of our faults, Christian people are the most loving and caring people on the face of the earth. Don’t wait until your deathbed to be right about Jesus Christ and his church!