I was in church this morning, and our worship leader had chosen as the closing song a real oldie from the ’70s called “For Those Tears I Died”.
You said you’d come and bear all my sorrow
You said you’d be there for all my tomorrows
I came so close to turning You away
But just like you promised, you came there to stay
I just had to pray.
And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side.”
“I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied.
I felt every tear drop when in darkness you cried,
And I sought to remind you that for those tears I died.”
Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul.
I know that without You, I’d never be whole.
Jesus You’ve opened all the right doors,
And I thank You and praise You
From Earth’s humble shores.
Take me, I’m yours.
Suddenly, as we sang this song, my thoughts went back forty years. In December, 1973, a troubled young man came into our home and by a work of God, became our son. Terry Hodson was 22 years old, diagnosed with schizophrenia, and had been in and out of psychiatric care for several years. He already had numerous suicide attempts behind him when God led us to offer him a place in our family. Terry was eager, most times cheerful, and my children, ages 10 and 7 at that time, loved him. Early in his stay with us, Terry attempted suicide a few more times. – pills mostly, and then we would take him to the hospital to have his stomach emptied, and he would be determined never to do it again. We were learning new steps in God at the time, though, and in the spring of 1974, Terry was delivered of numerous demomic spirits that had troubled him for years. From that time on, he handled life in a new way, and became a mature young man. He sailed through some troubled times that would have driven him to suicide earlier. For the first time in his life, he was able to hold a job. He dated – and when the girlfriend broke the relationship, he handled it well and continued hopeful.
In early October 1974, Terry developed a nosebleed. He had hemorrhaged seriously during a previous surgery two years earlier, and a sister had hemorrhaged and died after childbirth. I suspected a genetic bleeding disorder and pled with the doctor to run a battery of coagulation tests on him, but we were treated like “nosey neighbors”, and indeed because he was of age, we had no legal connection to demand action. Terry had his nose packed in surgery on two separate occasions, and was in the hospital for two weeks, and on October 31, 1974, he went into cardiac arrest and died in the hospital.
Terry’s funeral was held in Asbury Church, Wichita, Kansas on November 2, 1974, and TODAY, 40 years later, November 2, 2014, unknown to the planners of the service, we sang Terry’s “theme song” – the words meant everything to him. You see, Terry never really understood how much he was loved by people, but he knew that Jesus loved him and had died so that Terry could be with Him in heaven. That last verse, especially, meant so much to him. I’m so glad that Terry was with us for ten months that changed all of our lives, and that we know that we will see him again in eternity.