Friday, October 14, 2011

The Measure of a Man

A sharp whistle pierces clear through the sharp fall air.  A few notes, that's really all, but a chorus of whistles respond.  Home from work, my Dad stands at his back door and whistles for his grandchildren across the yard.  Sometimes that's it, all he has for them.  Sometimes there's more - an invitation to walk down to visit Great Grandma down the street, or some treat he's been saving for them.  They never know, so they run - hopping off the swing set or teeter-totter, tumbling down the path.  My flock of children surround him excitedly.  His face is the picture of pure enjoyment, his laugh a warm ring about them all.  They come home with little bags of peanuts or tiny apples he calls "school-boys."

58 years ago, my Grandma checked into the hospital.  42 weeks pregnant and huge, ready to have her baby. As family lore has it, she delivered a beautiful 8 lb baby boy - only to have the doctor say "Oh...there's another one!"  My Dad was that second "surprise" baby.

Jonah and I mix up a pie crust and practice singing "Happy Birthday" while rolling it out - the rolling pin a gift on Dad's wedding day, 33 years ago.  I slice up apples we picked last weekend at the same orchard he took me to for the very first time, riding on his shoulders a mere two years old.

These days, he's Dad to 7 children and Grandpa to another 7.  5 times now I've watched him toss my babies in the air, snuggle onto them close.  He who pulls up on a Saturday morning, asking for the loan of a child to help him with some chore - always with a treat at the end.  The boys help him carry logs inside to stack by the fire, and Jonah squats close to watch him light it.

Dad is many things in this life -  Lawyer, Landlord, Citizen, Entrepreneur, Intellectual.  But the most important roles are the ones he puts foremost in his life: Christ-follower, Husband, Father, Grandfather.

Every day, he inspires me to put first things first.  To live a life in focused on God's economy, not man's.

So, I bake pie.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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  1. Oh, that is beautiful, just beautiful. Holly

  2. Thank you Holly! He is very special to me :-)

  3. Oh how beautiful. How special. I sure hope our girls will someday say those kind things about their daddy. You r blessed!

  4. Gorgeous tribute, and such a rich heritage!

    This is a beautiful word portrait.


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