Reconciliation After 43 Years, and Peace in Death

John C. Rankin (December 23, 2009)

At a meeting of the New Canaan Society (NCS) [] last week, a friend spoke to me about a man he had introduced to me some weeks prior. This 50-year old man, Tony, was wrestling with some life-controlling issues, and was struggling to get free, seeking the Lord.

When we spoke at this prior breakfast, Tony shared how his father had left him when he was seven, and how bitter he was about it. Then, thinking aloud, I wondered what might cause a man to leave his children, and what brokenness there may have been in his life at the time, something he could not get free from. This was the first time Tony had considered his father’s own potential struggles and internal pain.

Tony immediately called his father, and a huge transformation followed, not long before Tony suddenly died. My friend then emailed me a copy of a letter he had sent to others: “About 8 months before Tony [         ] died John Rankin convinced Tony to call his father that he had not spoken to since the 1960s, Tony was 50 when he died and that push by John gave Tony and his Dad 8 months of talking every day, another piece of evidence Tony made it home.”

Imagine the solace to the human soul these eight months of daily phone calls provided Tony and his father. We are wired as image-bearers of God for healthy relationships, and for reconciliation when they are broken. We are not at peace until all broken relationships and shared pains are healed, and thus, Tony had a wonderful injection of peace into his soul before he died, and now he has his resurrection body, awaiting the eternal fulfillment of knowing, loving, and being loved by his father in the presence of our heavenly Father.


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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.