A Memory to Share
But Barnabus took Saul, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road Saul had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. (Acts 9:27)
Who are some of the saints of your life? Who are some of those who have invested in you? Who have helped teach the faith to you? Who have stood up for you?
Today, February 12, is a day when I remember one of the saints of my life. Today is the birthday of my father, Douglas Carlson. Dad passed away on January 27, 2004. There are so many things I miss about my father. He was a good man. He was a hard-working man. He was a good provider for our family. He loved us deeply, even though I didn’t always recognize that in my life.
Our relationship changed when I was in my mid 20’s. My parents had come out to visit our young family. Up until that time, I had not been particularly close to my father.
I remember we were standing in the garage. I looked at my father and said, “You know Dad, I really don’t know you. I don’t know what your hopes and dreams in life were? I don’t know what you really have enjoyed. I don’t know what your disappointments are. I don’t feel like I really know you.”
There was a very pregnant moment of silence as I anxiously awaited my dad’s response.
He looked at me, gently, and said, “Well, I guess if we are going to start a friendship, we should probably get started.”
His gracious response set the stage for our relationship to change, to grow, to deepen. The friendship we developed has been so meaningful for me. Through the years, I loved calling him up and asking his wisdom as I faced different challenges in life or ministry. One of the things I miss today, with his passing from over fifteen years ago, is just picking up the phone and learning from him.
Thank you for letting me share a part of the story of one of the saints of my life. I thank God for the gift of my father, and all those saints who invest in our lives. Who are you giving thanks for on this day?
Loving God, you have come to us in so many different ways. You have loved us into being through those who have gone before us and invested in us. Help us to accept and celebrate this love. Teach us how to share your love with those around us. Help us find ways to invest in others. In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen.