• James McMaster

My Dad; the greatest man I ever met


This past weekend I had the joy of visiting my parents as it was my mother’s 80th birthday and so we had a great ‘knees up’ on Saturday night with the rest of the family. It was really great to see my mother looking so well and enjoying the celebration. Sadly, Dad wasn’t looking so well having been the victim of a massively debilitating stroke some four years ago which has left him speechless and with the use of only one arm. This, compounded with severe dementia, has left my father as only the shadow of the man he once was.


This is all pretty tough to swallow especially as Dad, although rather shy and self effacing, had a brilliant mind and designed many engineering marvels which were streets ahead of what most men could have conceived. Sadly, for various reasons, Dad’s company- McMaster Engineering- didn’t manage to keep its head above water and eventually ran into the ground. Those were very hard days, and yet Dad never lost his naturally cheerful disposition.


In truth, Dad’s present situation, as far as this world goes, is pretty bleak. I could fully sympathise when a family member bitterly remarked- ‘I don’t know why, for such a good man, nothing Tom ever did seem to work out for him’. However, this isn’t quite true as when Dad could talk he would often say that one thing that did work out for him was marrying my mother!


And yet why should such a good man have to get sand kicked in his face through life and end up shuffling off the stage in shame, unrecognised and unrecognisable? As I have pondered this question I have found the Bible to be, as always, a place of great comfort.

The Bible tell us that, long after the rather pathetic views of man have been aired, God will have his everlasting say at the Last Judgment. There, all wrongs will be righted, when the ‘last’ will be ‘first’ and the ‘first’ will be ‘last’. When those who think that they are on ‘top’ will find, to their great consternation, that they are on the ‘bottom’. And those on the ‘bottom’ will find, to their utter amazement, that they end up on ‘top’.


Daddy, in his own quiet way, trusted in the Lord Jesus and so had an assurance that one day he would enter Heaven’s gates with a ticket bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. So for my Father, and for every suffering believer who is at the bottom end of life, we can truly say- the best is yet to be!!


So did my father do well in life? Let’s the Last Judgment decide.

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