regret

“So Good To Me” — A Tribute to Ed Boyd

After three years of corresponding about the Christian faith, my seventy-four-year-old father, Ed Boyd, surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. (Our correspondence is recorded in G. Boyd, E. Boyd, Letters From a Skeptic). Unfortunately, soon after his conversion my father’s health began to rapidly deteriorate. Over the next ten years dad suffered several strokes which left him wheelchair bound, with impaired speech, and completely unable to care for himself. During this same period of time, dad also lost most of his eyesight as well as his hearing.

Prior to his conversion, my father was an exceptionally proud, very opinionated, rather ornery, intensely fowl-mouthed person. And he was never hesitant about letting his opinions and feelings be known. Whether it was about his chronic intestinal issues or, more frequently, about “how goddamn stupid the world is,” my father complained quite a lot! I assure you, had that old-Ed Boyd found himself in the deplorable condition he was actually in toward the end of his life, he would have been utterly miserable and everyone around would have been reminded of it every day. But over the challenging ten years that followed my father’s conversion, God had been slowly bringing about a most amazing transformation.

Two weeks before my father suffered the stroke that finally killed him, I and my three siblings spent a weekend with him and his wonderful wife Jeannie. It was the last time any of us spoke with dad. We were all talking and laughing about something or other as us kids were preparing to leave, though my father couldn’t see or hear well enough to participate, so he was sitting in his wheel chair “looking” out his back porch window. As I approached dad to hug and kiss him goodbye, I noticed tears coming down both cheeks.

I bent down and shouted into his ear, “Dad, why are you sad?”
“I’m not sad,” he replied in a voice that quivered with emotion. “I’m crying because the good Lord has been so goddamn good to me!”

The beautiful difference Christ can make, against all odds, in the once stubborn heart of a seventy-four-year-old!

That took place more than fifteen years ago. The other day, however, I received an email from Todd Synder, whom I’d never met before. Todd informed me that he had heard my father’s story on a Reknew podcast and that it moved him and inspired him to write a song about it. I think it’s an absolutely beautiful tribute to my father and, more importantly, to the transforming power of Christ’s love. And so, with Todd’s permission, I thought I’d share it all with you.

. . .
Lyrics
I can’t see the sunrise with my own eyes
I can hardly make out a word that you say
Death is near, it’s taken so much from me
But the Lord’s been so goddamn good to me

Surrounded by my family at this cabin
When the tears start rolling down my cheeks
I’m not sad, just counting all my blessings
And the Lord’s been so goddamn good to me

I can feel it in the sunshine
I can smell it in the rain
There’s a joy in my sorrow
And a comfort through my pain

I fought this love for all my life
But now it’s plain to see
That the Lord’s been so goddamn good to me

My cup may look empty on the outside
But my heart is a River running to the Sea
These tears of joy are overflowing in me
And the Lord’s been so goddamn good to me

I can feel it in the sunshine
I can smell it in the rain
There’s a joy in my sorrow
And a comfort through my pain

I fought this love for all my life
But now it’s plain to see
That the Lord’s been so goddamn good to me

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