I wasn't going to make my blog overtly Christian but I guess I can't help it sometimes. For me Jesus is the unspoken first, the welcome and always expected guest, the one who is always there and there for us. You taught me that. And for me, to honor you is to honor him because he lives in and through you in all ways large and small.
It may be an awkward letter, I don't know yet. I'm just letting words spill out as they come, raw and inspired, to be as authentic as I can. Life revolves around words. Sometimes words fail and I can't seem to pick up the pieces of the broken world and put them back together into a neat set of volumes with no tears or blemishes. Life is like that. No boxes, no bindings, only more like a Divine blog that God writes on our hearts in different ways every day. New and exciting ways. Or terrible, unfathomable ways. But always full of mercy; the kind that is new every morning. You taught me that, too. Not so much just with the words that I heard over and over but as you have lived it out year after year after year, faithfully. I feel that no one is as fortunate as my siblings and I. And it's not just words to say that God knew what He was doing.
I have seen you challenge the status quo. Paddle upstream. Call out the inconsistencies. Encourage the weary, feed the hungry, strengthen the weak. You never did it in those great big numbers that draw thousands; you didn't write books that sold millions. I'm sure it is lovely to be recognized. But you made the sacrifice of conviction and followed it through in spite of what the consequences have been. Estrangement at times. Discouragement. Misunderstanding. Not always, for there were many moments of joy, fellowship, communion and the gracious who agreed to disagree. I learned this all from example in a way that mere words could never hope to communicate.
The blessing of passing down your faith to the next generation I am only beginning to understand: what it is like and what it means. It is beautiful. And heartrending. To equip a child with all they need for weighing the good versus the bad, what a frightening challenge. And even more frightening, to teach them to think and ask the hard questions even though they may end up coming to different conclusions than my own. You did that. And you rejoiced or wept accordingly. It's daunting to me now, the prospect of passing on the faith, but I have hope because I know that we have a good relationship even if we differ in the details. I love that about you.
It would take volumes to describe the love and respect I have for you both. I love you and I always will. It transcends time, distance, and the finite demands of mankind.
Yours in the Hope that we have, your one and only
|My parents and I at their house on my 34th birthday.|