An excerpt from "In The Name Of The Father." Lester was supposed to be his daughter's hero, instead he became the man she despised.
All the time Lester spent working in ministry caused a strain
on Lester and Angel’s relationship. Angel tried to help Lester
prepare for sermons and bring the kids to all of his preaching
assignments, but she couldn’t work full-time, care for their
children, and be there for her husband at all times. When Lester
started preaching Angel was always in the second pew, shouting
the loudest, but as time passed she started slipping to the back of
the church to catch the end of a sermon when he preached during
the week, and sometimes she couldn’t make them at all.
Lester and Angel evangelized on Saturdays in Baltimore
City with Moses and Joy by their side as they knocked on doors,
spreading the good news. People admired their dedication to
Christ and the testimony of a family who served God together.
Angel prayed for God to sustain her as a wife and mother,
because she knew it would take His supernatural power to be all
things to her family. As Lester’s schedule became more demanding
as a minister, he began to neglect his full-time job. In fact,
Angel found out he’d been fired for weeks before he told her what
had happened. With Lester being quick-witted and eloquent, he
was never unemployed for a very long time.
“You know I’m preaching Easter Sunday at the church, so I
want everybody to be ready on time,” Lester reminded Angel as
she dressed for work on Good Friday.
“I know, sweetie. We’ll be ready. I already picked up Joy’s Easter
outfit and I will take Moses to the mall, so I can get him a suit.”
Angel smiled as she rubbed Lester’s shoulders.
“Good, this is going to be an important Sunday. You know
most people who don’t attend church will visit only twice a year,
Easter and Christmas. So this is a great opportunity to win souls
for Christ and compel unbelievers to accept Him.”
“Amen. I’m so proud of you, honey. That was so nice of Pastor
Davis to let you preach on Easter Sunday. He normally preaches
himself. Did you finish your sermon notes?”
“Almost. I’ll work on that today.”
“Aren’t you supposed to go to work today?” Angel asked as
she tilted her head.
“I took the day off to prepare for the sermon.” Lester abruptly
moved Angel’s hands from his shoulders and walked out of their
Angel stretched across the bed and prayed this was not the
beginning of Lester losing another job. The scenario was always
the same. He would start to take a few days off to prepare for a
sermon or attend a church-related function, and then his supervisor
would give him a permanent vacation.
Angel wanted to move into their own home desperately, but
she worried Lester’s reckless behavior would be too much to bear
if they moved out of her mother’s house.
Gran never said anything to Lester or Angel about Lester’s
work habits. A marriage was hard enough for a couple without
the meddling of a mother-in-law, but Angel knew she too was
concerned that Lester would not be able to provide a stable home
for Angel and the kids.
Over the weekend Angel ran herself ragged, running from
store to store to find a suit for Moses and patent leather shoes for
Joy. She always wanted them to look picture-perfect for Resurrection
It was tradition on the Saturday before to dye Easter eggs for
baskets and the family Easter egg hunt after dinner. Easter dinner
was always at Gran’s house. Gran and Angel stayed up half the
night, preparing an elaborate meal. Early the next morning they
rose to finish cooking and decorate the house.
When Angel finished cooking she woke the children up and
got them ready for service. This was one of those days when Angel
operated on prayer and pure adrenaline to get her through the
day. Before the Noble family left for church, they took pictures
to savor the moment. Joy dressed in a purple and white dress,
white straw hat, and white patent leather shoes, while Moses was
dressed in a navy blue suit with a white shirt and purple tie.
They kissed Gran goodbye and piled into the family car,
headed for church. Angel sang along to the gospel radio station
as they traveled. When they pulled into the church parking lot it
was packed. In fact, there was a line outside the door. Lester’s sermon,
“He’s Alive,” brought Angel to tears. As she listened to all
that Christ suffered for every person, she was reminded of how
much He loved her. She thought about His mercy and His goodness
and couldn’t help but jump to her feet and give Him praise.
When Angel jumped up and said, “Hallelujah,” Moses and
Joy jumped up and shouted, “Hallelujah,” too. It took Angel a few
moments to notice them jumping and waving their hands.
“You two better not be playing with the Lord. I will not tolerate
you mocking God.” Angel leaned down to Joy and Moses and
gave them the don’t-make-me-jack-you-up-in-church look.
“We’re not playing, Mom. We want to praise God, too,” Joy
proclaimed while Moses nodded in agreement.
Angel was surprised by their response but confident they
were being honest. She smiled and gave them the nod of approval
to carry on. They’d been in church all their lives, so it was only a
matter of time before they stopped playing in church and decided
to participate in praising God.
At the end of service, Angel and the children waited for Lester
to greet and shake everyone’s hand. When they arrived at Gran’s,
Angel’s extended family was already there ready for dinner.
All of the cousins rushed to change out of their Easter outfits
and into their play clothes. After dinner the kids started the Easter
egg hunt while the adults ate dessert, drank coffee, and caught
up on each other’s busy lives.
Everyone was enjoying themselves when they heard someone
screaming and a loud rolling down the steep stairs to the basement,
followed by a hard thud at the bottom of the steps. Angel
ran to the top of the stairs to see what had happened. When she
looked down, there was Moses crying at the bottom of the steps,
surrounded by Joy and all their cousins.
“Lester, Moses fell down the steps,” Angel yelled as she frantically
ran down the stairs.
Somehow Lester managed to beat her to the bottom. Moses
was crying, as he was in excruciating pain and couldn’t move.
While standing next to Lester as he examined him, Angel noticed
his left leg swelled to the point of ripping his jeans, and his left
foot almost burst out of his sneaker. Lester bolted upstairs,
grabbed a pair of scissors from the kitchen cabinet, then returned
to Moses’s side in seconds. He cut up the seam of Moses’s pants
and took off his tennis shoe to help his circulation. Within a few
moments, Moses’s leg and foot swelled to an abnormal size.
Lester and Angel rushed Moses to the hospital. Angel told
Joy to stay at home with the rest of the family until they returned.
The three waited in the emergency room for an hour before
Moses was helped. The doctor said he had never seen a case
like this and recommended they consult a children’s oncologist
because the X-rays showed a mass in Moses’s leg. The doctor was
not sure what it was, but knew an oncologist could give them
more information. He also recommended icing his leg to reduce
some of the swelling.
“Dad, what’s an oncologist?” Moses asked as he leaned on
“A special doctor, that’s all. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry. What
do I always tell you when you’re afraid?”
“Where faith resides, fear cannot,” Moses said with confidence.
Shortly after they got in the car, Moses fell asleep in the backseat
and Angel started weeping silently.
“Why are you crying?” Lester whispered.
“What if the mass is cancerous?”
“The power of life and death lies in the tongue. You know
that. So why are you claiming cancer?”
“I’m not claiming anything, but Moses has a mass in his leg
and we’ve been recommended to a child oncologist.” Angel cried
into her handkerchief.
“Woman, where is your faith?”
“How dare you question my faith,” Angel snapped.
“The devil is a liar. We serve a God of power. In the name of
Jesus I pray Moses is healed. He does not have cancer.”
They rode the rest of the way in silence. When they arrived
at home, the entire family was waiting to hear the diagnosis. Lester
told everyone they had to see a specialist on Monday and they
asked everyone to pray.
They didn’t share the details with anyone except Gran after
Joy and Moses went to bed.
Later that night, Lester knelt at the foot of Moses’s bed and
prayed for hours.
The next morning Lester called family and friends and asked
them to pray for Moses at 10 a.m., when he saw the specialist.
After Lester made his phone calls he gathered the family together
for prayer. Lester and Angel decided to fast until after Moses’s
appointment. They only wanted to focus on God and His healing
Gran waved goodbye as everyone piled into the family car. “I
know everything is going to be okay.”
Lester and Angel dropped Joy off at school on the way to the
“Why can’t I go to the hospital with everyone else?” Joy
folded her arms as she got out of the car.
“Because you should be in school learning,” Angel said while
she motioned Joy over to the car window and kissed her on the
cheek. “Love you. We’ll pick you up from school.”
Joy walked slowly up the hill to the auditorium. While they
waited for Joy to make it up the hill, she turned around and
walked back to the car.
“I was wondering if you changed your mind and decided to
let me go to the hospital,” Joy said with the saddest look she could
“Joy, we know you want to be there for Moses, but it’s best
you go to school. Everything is going to be fine. We’ll all come to
pick you up this afternoon. Okay?” Angel hugged Joy through the
car window. “Now hurry up the hill so we can make it to the hospital
In the car ride on the way to the hospital, gospel music played
softly in the background while Lester and Angel made small
talk with Moses. They weren’t going to focus on his foot and leg
because they didn’t want him to worry, but since Moses’s swelling
went down completely they focused on that to make him feel
“How do you feel, Moses?” Angel turned around from the
front seat to see Moses’s little face while she spoke with him.
“I feel fine, Mom.”
“Good. Everything is going to be fine. We have the entire
world praying for you. God hears our prayers. Do you believe
that?” Angel smiled as she turned and looked at Lester to gauge
how he was really handling everything.
“If they find something wrong with my foot or my leg, what
There was an awkward moment of silence before Angel
responded. She hoped this would be one of the moments Lester
interjected, but he had been quiet for most of the car ride.
“I’m not sure. The specialist will give us more information
after he examines you. Don’t worry about something being
“Moses, name one thing you know about Jesus,” Lester said
as he looked at Moses squirm in the rearview mirror.
Angel felt for Moses because he despised being put on the
spot. She didn’t know why Lester was drilling him at a time like
“That He is God the son,” Moses replied.
“Yes, He is God the son, but what about some of the things
“He performed miracles.”
“Yes. Do you remember any of the miracles He performed?”
“Ahh, He made a blind man see.”
“Exactly! He has all power. There is nothing He can’t do. He
made the blind man see. He performed many other miracles, but
do you know what was key about the blind man who was healed?
He believed he could be healed. So did the lame man who Jesus
told to pick up his mat and walk. They had the faith that they
would be healed. Moses, do you believe Jesus heals today?”
“So that means if you believe, even if something was wrong
with you, Jesus can heal you. No matter what happens, I want you
to believe that and know nothing can happen to you unless God
“I know, Dad.”
Moses walked between Lester and Angel, holding their
hands as they strolled to the hospital entrance. They took the
elevator up three flights. When the silver elevator doors opened
to the fourth floor, they were amazed to see most of their family
members waiting for them. Gran rushed to the elevator to hug
Moses and cheer him up.
“We couldn’t let you three come to the hospital alone. We’re
a family, and family that prays together stays together,” Gran said
as she tussled Moses’s curly brown hair while he held onto her
“We’re glad you all showed up. I should have known Gran had
something up her sleeve when she rushed us out this morning,”
Lester said as he held Angel’s hand. “I want to thank all of you
for your prayers and for your presence now. Speaking of prayer, I
would like us to get in a circle with Moses standing in the middle
and pray. On the drive here, I asked Moses if he believed Jesus
could heal. In the Bible it tells us that Jesus has all power and that
as His believers, not only can we do the things He did, but we can
do greater things in Jesus’s name. So that means on this morning
we can all witness a miracle. When we took Moses to the emergency
room yesterday, the doctor took X-rays of his leg and foot
and said there was a mass. He told us to see this child oncologist
right away, but I serve a God who heals and I speak in the name
of Jesus my son is healed. Whatever the doctor saw is gone in the
name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. Let us pray.”
As they prayed in the circle, the medical staff stopped and
bowed their heads out of respect for the family. When they said
“Amen,” Dr. Lawrence spoke with Lester and Angel.
“Hi, I’m Doctor Lawrence. You must be the Noble family. I
wasn’t expecting thirty people to show up for this appointment.”
He smiled as he reviewed the notes on his clipboard.
“We didn’t expect it either, Doctor Lawrence. I’m Lester
Noble and this is my wife, Angel, and this is Moses.”
“Good to meet you. We’re going to run several tests on Moses
and ask him a series of questions about his fall and the pain he felt
and how he feels right now. We have several labs on site, so we
will have the results in a few hours. Mr. Noble, you and your wife
can come back with Moses for the questions, and then we will ask
you to return to the waiting room while we run the tests.”
They ran tests for almost two hours. A series of blood tests
and MRI scans. Now the family had to wait for the results. Lester
prayed and read his Bible most of the morning. That calmed him
when everyone else was anxious. That also distracted him from
his grumbling stomach, as he hadn’t eaten since Moses fell.
“Mr. and Mrs. Noble, we have the test results. Would you like
to discuss them privately?” Dr. Lawrence appeared to suppress a
Lester stood tall with his arms crossed. “You can tell us here
in front of our family.”“Well, we’ve looked at the test results and
examined and re-examined the X-rays every possible way and we
don’t see anything. I can’t explain what the other doctor saw, or
thought he saw yesterday, and I don’t know why Moses’s foot and
leg swelled yesterday, because there is not as much as a sprain on
any part of his foot or leg. The results show Moses is healthy and
everything is normal.”
Cheers of “Amen,” “Hallelujah,” and “Thank you, Jesus” broke
out in the waiting room. A miracle happened right before their
eyes. Moses leapt for joy, and this shy boy danced like nobody
had ever seen.
“Thank you, Jesus, for healing me,” Moses shouted as he
hugged Lester tightly around his neck.
“God is good, Dad. I love you.”
“Yes, He is, son. I love you, too. Let’s go pick up your sister
and tell her the good news.”