Monday, March 07, 2011

Daughter of a Preacher Man

I'm tired, people. A good tired, but still tired. I just said tired four times in a row, that's how tired I am. Five now. Moving is good. Moving is evil. Moving is...well, moving. And that's what we're doing. Moving. And yes, I know the photo is a repeat but I thought it fit, so here it is again. I guess you could say it moved, from one post to another.

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Speaking of moving, at the end of last year, my father retired from pastoring. My brother took over his role. My Dad was, and still is, an amazing teacher. He's a seeker, an intellect, and an avid reader and researcher. Sometimes his sermons were a bit, shall we say, lengthy. But only because he wanted to make absolutely sure that his thoughts were conveyed to the congregation because he is so passionate about his beliefs.

My brother's style is different. He's more practical, to the point, and then pulls it all together and wraps it up. A great teacher, different style.

What's strange now is that for my whole life, my Dad's been behind the proverbial pulpit. I can't tell you the times he called us out from the pulpit for whispering, passing notes, or sleeping on those cold, hard, wooden pews and drooling on the hymnals that we used for pillows. And now, my Dad sits on the back row with me and whispers, hands out gum, and cuts up. He doesn't sleep or drool...only at home in his recliner.

And I wonder how hard this must be for him. I know he's proud of my brother, I can tell. But at the same time, he's passing the torch. His torch. His domain. His job. And I imagine that he's asking himself, "Who am I now? What is my role? What's my purpose?"

Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV 3.4.283
Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance.

Strange indeed. I only hope he knows how amazing he is. I hope that he knows that he's been my rock, my teacher, my father. Always will be. And that he knows his desire to teach will never outlive his performance. That teaching is his essence and has never been a mere performance.

We're all moving here. In more ways than one. Forward.

3 comments:

Diahn said...

wonderful tribute to a great man.

Lisa said...

*sigh* perfect post. Love every word of it.

Dan Kent said...

Today is my father's birthday. He's been suffering with Parkinson's for many years - he cannot speak, move, without much difficulty, his mind is addled.

He had many goals and dreams, and now many decades have been spent in a twilight.

We live, we dream, and then is the final process of passage. For some it is longer than others.

It is a blessing that your father can ask himself about his role and purpose. I think he will find it in this part of his life, as in the last. It is a blessing both for him and for you.