Footsteps in the Hall

John Rutledge

John Rutledge

I have been missing my father.  There are many things happening right now that I would love to have the opportunity  to discuss with him, have his opinion and have him on my team.  On the other hand, I am really glad that my folks are in  heaven and they are not having to deal with society as we know it today- and what I believe is coming around the bend.  It’s a two-edged sword, but I miss him deeply, all the same.


My Dad, John Rutledge, was a reporter for the Dallas Morning News.  He worked the Police beat and liked working nights and having days off in the middle of the week.  That was our normal and it worked pretty well for the Rutledge clan.  He saw a lot of  tragedy and the seamy side of life in this line of work and was probably more aware of societal undercurrents and happenings than most folks on the Dallas streets. thFGDUDFJW As a nice benefit to his strange schedule he was always there to greet us when we got home from school and hear about our day before he left for work late in the afternoons in his yellow 1953 Ford pick-up truck.

We didn’t have a lot of money but he made up for it in time. Having been an only child I think that he took special delight in his four children.  I remember the year he bought an army surplus parachute and every kid in our neighborhood showed up, regularly, to have him inflate it with the help of high winds and an old swamp cooler.  I remember the feeling of exultation of being pulled off my feet while hanging on to my handful of green silk–and his laughter as all the children were squealing with delight!   In the summertime, because of his odd work schedule, this meant that he was available every afternoon to take us swimming and give my mom a break or to take my younger brother magnet fishing off the pier at White Rock Lake. He understood the importance of building relationships with his children.

He was a great reporter with a good editing eye. But he was also a fine wordsmith. No one told better stories than my dad. I always wanted him to write a book but he never seemed interested in tackling such a project. th4DVNYHYZ He was funny, had a sharp wit and liked to sing goofy, old Roy Acuff songs.  On rare and special occasions he could play a mean harmonica, clarinet or saxophone and had a beautiful deep singing voice.  Although he always worked weekends and rarely attended church with the family, I would frequently awaken in the mornings to find him still up- reading his Bible and with books and maps and charts spread all over the kitchen table.  He was a hungry Bible studier and a praying man. I know that he was hoping to live to see the Lord return. But, I guess he doesn’t mind so much now.

Johnny Rutledge was different than all the other dads that I knew.  He didn’t golf, he didn’t follow the stock market or read the business pages. Much to my grandfather’s distress he was not interested in taking up the family business or climbing any one’s corporate ladder. He followed his own drummer and encouraged his children to find what inspired them. As long as I knew him he wore a grey Stetson, black cowboy boots and always carried a gun.  As a reporter one never knew what sort of situation one might find oneself in the middle of! “Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!”  He always wore a dark “army green” tee shirt under his suit and tie because he had been covering riot situations in the 60’s where anyone wearing white was an easy target at night.   The police officers and sheriff’s deputies that he worked with called him John the Baptist. He wasn’t shy about sharing his faith with the people he knew and relating world news to relevant Bible Prophecy. We didn’t think any of this was strange.  He was a doomsday prepper before it was cool to be one.  He possessed more than his fair share of quirks and though he wasn’t a perfect man, he really was a perfect Dad for me. He was a fine, faithful, solid man. John Rutledge was someone you could count on in times of trouble and he had a gift for assessing the times or situations and cutting through the clutter to the root of what was happening. He loved the Lord and he loved my mother till the day he died. That’s a pretty good legacy for anyone.

On those occasions when he was home in the evenings and I was on my way to bed he would  ALWAYS tell me in absolute sincerity that he loved me and  that he “surely was proud of me.”  At the time, this struck me as a little bit funny as I had not done anything to be proud of, particularly.  It was, however, the regular expressions of those heartfelt statements that made me want to make him proud of me.  It was a marvelous parenting example. In any relationship there are things that you can never say too much!  I never had any doubt that my Father loved me and that he would do anything to protect me.

Growing up, I remember half- waking in the drowsy wee-hours of the morning when I would hear him come home from work.  No matter what I might have been fearing, no matter what I had heard going ” bump in the night”, regardless of any juvenile worries facing me the next day; I knew when I heard his footsteps, those boots coming down our hardwood hallway, that My Daddy was home and all was well.  He had it covered.  I realize that in this day and age, not everyone has the blessing of this kind of experience or example and for that I am truly sorry. I think that we all realize that however we view our dad is probably is very indicative of how we will frame our view of the Lord.

Without a doubt we are entering very unsettling and frightening times.  Experts are predicting financial collapse, and other socio-economic, political issues are unfolding that are disturbing.  We can see crazy stuff happening and prophetic fulfillment around the world and the possibilities are mind boggling!  I know that I have lost readers because they don’t like to think about anything distressing or frightening. Nor do most people care to deal with anything that is out of their control.  I get that.  Rather than employ wholesale situational avoidance, I believe a healthier way to greet these times is by  relying on our foundational relationship with our heavenly Dad.  He told us ahead of time exactly what to expect, how to behave.  He gave us a place in the Family Business and taught us how to be successful in this life. Our focus HAS to be on our family identity.  Who we are in HIM?  We carry his authority. His DNA is imprinted in our heart. No matter how crazy our life here becomes- we need to maintain that important relationship and learn to rest in Him.

No matter what sort of earthly father (or lack thereof) you may have grown up with: I think it is deeply important as we wade more deeply into these uncertain times to remember that we can always rest easy in the unconditional love of our Abba Father.  He has us covered. He has not forgotten his promises.  He will forgive you of anything, He loves you no matter where you have wandered off to on your goofy life’s path.  He loves you unconditionally. Never forget that no matter what is coming He will never leave you.  If you listen- I think you can hear his footsteps in the hall.

*Authors note:  Thank you for your patience and all the emails this week wondering where I was!  I took a week off and have my granddaughter visiting with me this week so thanks for bearing with me!  This has been a very, very active prophecy watch week!  There is so much happening that I will just do the seismic stuff today and try to put out a full blown Newsy post in the next few days!          

Prophecy Watch:  Earthquakes and Seismic Activity: thSWO26CP6

I have in past posts recommended the USGS earthquake site but I am finding that they have begun to regularly downgrade earthquakes sometimes as much as a full point or more and in an instance or two have totally removed earthquakes from their website.  This indicates to me and others that they( or their equipment is) not up to snuff or that they are playing with the statistics in order to keep folks from getting excited during these times of global seismic unrest.  You need to be paying attention.  Following, I am posting the Friday Forecast from It is just over 30 minutes and is a fascinating 3-d ride around the globe. Since it came out we have already seen quite a few happenings exactly where he predicted.

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5 Responses to Footsteps in the Hall

  1. Nancy Tackis says:

    What fun photos and beautiful description of your wonderful Christian Dad! It brought tears to my eyes because I was also blessed with a Dad who loved Jesus, my Mom, and us 4 girls, until the day he died at 91! What a legacy! It’s so nice to have you back, Sally! I always enjoy your posts!

  2. Nancy Arey says:

    Sally…..beautiful words about your Dad and our Heavenly Father! While I know what lies ahead is troubling, with our Fairh and our upbringing, we know we are saved. I so miss the time we were raised in and love hearing about those days. Thank you for a warm hearted story about such a loving and caring man!

  3. Pam Hay says:

    My Uncle John had a huge impact on my and my husband’s life when we were fresh and ” on fire ” Christians in the early 70’s. First and foremost, he was instrumental in my choosing my husband when to my surprise, BOTH my Baylor boyfriends turned up on Uncle John and Aunt Margi’s doorstep in Dallas when I was visiting them as a Baylor coed. Uncle John took me aside and in no uncertain terms, told me to decide and stop playing the game!!! I straightened up and chose the right man 42 years ago!
    We loved visiting them. Uncle John was full of wisdom and loved sharing the things of God with us. We were fascinated with the prophecy of the end times ( we were clueless about that at the time ), the Gospel in the stars ( still have the small book they gave us about that for Christmas one year ) and the pearls of wisdom he would share with us as we would talk in the afternoon before his going to work. He would stand next to the mantle eating his ham sandwich with nothing on it, drinking warm beer ( had to get used to in in the war ) and smoking his cigarette…..all the while talking about God and his goodness.
    He took my husband, Trey, one night on his beat with him as he covered the crazy underworld of crime… Trey never forgot it, but was especially impressed by the respect the Dallas Police Department had for Johnny. One thing that was indisputable was his honesty and integrity, unlike many reporters today.
    You are right, Sally…Uncle John had a beautiful, melodious deep voice with that lovely Texas drawl ….I am so thankful he was my uncle and it will be a happy day to see both of them again, on the “other side ” ! Thanks Sally, for the blog!

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