Posted by: R M White | 12/17/2009

The Blessing

 

The Blessing

I have been reflecting on the essence of this note for several days. Heavy, light-hearted, beautiful, rich – so many emotions have been sashaying through my soul. It all started Sunday morning at our usual morning worship service during Lowell’s sermon. I sat there in the midst of ‘earthly’ moments and felt the presence of my Dad. I know, I know it was ‘church’ and it was God’s presence I was supposed to be feeling but Dad came into my heart in a flash and words he had spoken to me numerous times just came bursting to the forefront of my consciousness. I have been hugging them close ever since.

It was his blessing. My Dad’s commendation on my life. He told me more that once that I was “living his dreams”. We talked about it various times, discussing why he hadn’t been able to live his own dreams and ended up living vicariously through me. Oh, he lived a life full of plenty of richness and had his amazingly fulfilling moments. Dad was in love with his wife and his family – spiritual and physical and all who were touched by him felt that love. He and Mom, having been given the ‘gift’ of Jonell, kind of changed or refined their own life’s plans in accordance to her needs. Not that having Joni undermined what the Father was able to do with them. They led adventuresome lives, replete with good works and influence all because of Jonell. My Dad’s life was a love story in its purest most poignant form.

But here it comes back to me this day … just 4 days shy of Dad passing away a few short years ago. I wish he knew we were headed to Honduras soon. I wish he could have read about the Jesus Banquet – he would ‘get it’. He would love that we are going to live in a place that we’ll be helping in the raising up of children rescued off the streets; he’d be so thrilled that we were invited to go and be a part of this work and that we decided to say “Yes!” And he would undergird our faith and believe in us and the power of God because that was the way he worked. Even though he and Mom missed us sorely, he was always our biggest fan with our work in Argentina, and in Nigeria, and the trips to Honduras.

Yes, Dad was a Stateside evangelist and minister of the gospel but, he understood and kept up with worldwide missions, especially from the time when friends of his were invited to begin the work in Nigeria in the early 50’s – he actually would have loved to have been a part of it but they had their Joni and so they contented themselves with helping the others pack and prepare. Never did they dream that their still un-dreamed of daughter would one day live in that very place! Me! Yes, God’s story would include me and husband with kiddos living on the same campus over 25 years later.

Dad just loved the church and the amazing stories here and there across the world and at ‘home’. He was a story teller himself and could recount exact histories of congregations and remember people’s names right up to his last days here on earth. He was thrilled with his family – his immediate, his extended, his friends … he was happy with life and it wasn’t just me Dad blessed. He gave his nod of approval to so many. He was never stingy with his praise. If you were working in the church, he was proud of you. If you were seeking peace and unity, he was proud of you. If you were doing your job but being a Christian first, he was proud of you. If you were seeking, serving, praising, teaching or just living a godly and upright life, my Dad was proud of you.

The blessing. We all crave that. It matters most when it comes from the father and of course “the Father”. So, that’s where I’ve been dwelling in my innermost being these past few days. Highlights of the week stand out – like Tuesday morning, I was outside, waving Lowell off to work and I heard a bird singing out a sweet song of worship. I looked around seeking the source and discovered the little bird far across the field in the upper most branches of a tree … like he wanted to get as close to God as he could and bask in the Son-light. It made me smile and my heart sing so I had to start humming ‘I sing praises to your name, oh God …’

I took the dog in and got the camera and tiptoed across the crisp, frosty field toward the tree and the bird and yes, he continued in his praise and so did I … thinking of my Father and my Dad and rejoicing in my own life and love story … still basking in the blessing. Here are the pictures. And honest! there is a little, bitty bird on the tippy top of those branches! You can click on the individual picture and it’ll give you a better view. 😉

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Just so you know, I realise my Dad wasn’t perfect, that he had his flaws and imperfections but he was a genuine servant, prayer warrior, a peacemaker, a unity seeker and a true ‘Barnabas’.
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If you’ve longed for ‘a blessing’ and found it missing this book is excellent in being fulfilled by your Father.

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60846: The Blessing, Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance The Blessing, Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and AcceptanceBy John Trent & Gary Smalley

Many of us spend a lifetime striving for the approval of our parents. Your parent’s approval affects how you view yourself and you ability to pass that approval on to your children, friends, and spouse. In The Blessing, John Trent and Gary Smalley present a life-changing gift the Bible calls “the blessing.” Five elements of the blessing are meaningful touch, spoken messages, attaching high value, picturing a special future, and an active commitment. Using the principles offerd here provides hope and healing for men and women who may have missed their parents’ blessing.

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