A debut memoir about a lifelong promise made to God.
When McCabe was a boy working in his father’s feed mill in rural Maryland, he spent his free time “talking to the Lord on the railroad tracks.” As these conversations grew easier, he made a deal: if God would permit him to grow up and become a successful commercial artist, he would, in return, retire at the age of 45 and spend the rest of his life serving God as a minister. He received no reply from God, but McCabe did go on to become a successful graphic artist. This plainspoken memoir doesn’t immediately move on to his professional life, however; instead, the author relates his formative years growing up with his taciturn, hardworking father and his well-intentioned mother. “Mom kept telling Dad he would be sorry someday if he did not get to know us before we got older,” he affectingly writes at one point before flatly adding, “But it was too late.” McCabe later attends the U.S. Army Combat Engineer School and then enrolls briefly in the School of Visual Arts in New York City and then the Maryland Institute College of Art before finally landing a series of jobs in the U.S. Government Printing Office in the late 1960s. Complications do arise, however: while working in the government’s Audio Visual Services Division in the late 1970s, McCabe began to experience health problems due to breathing in various chemicals from his graphics work. After some soul-searching, he retires and commences ministerial work, both in prisons and as a member of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. Throughout this book, the author effectively relates the human side of his various employments, as well as his marriage to his wife, Janice, in a series of well-turned vignettes. Many of these stories will give readers a good sense of what midlevel government work was like on a day-to-day basis a generation ago. Christian readers, in particular, will find it especially pleasant to read this story of a good man’s life in the service of family and God.
A touching memoir about a graphic artist devoting his retirement years to Christian ministerial work.