Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Even Bigger Birthday!

Four weeks ago we travelled to Pennsylvania for our son's graduation from Messiah College. My Dad has made it to all of his grandchildrens' graduations (I think). This one was easier in a way: the venue was 10 minutes from his front door. But today we see what makes it more remarkable, as he celebrates his 90th birthday.

I remember well the day that my mother died, and Dad was left alone. Eighteen years and one month ago she left us. I remember Dad saying to me of her death: "I didn't know you could hurt this bad, but I know I'm going to be okay." Over the next two years he learned to care for himself, without his lifelong companion who had helped him so much in so many ways.

I remember Dad's wedding, 16 years and two weeks ago, to Verna Mae. The have been married now longer than many much younger couples, a relationship that has grown richer as they have grown older.

And today I remember Dad. He has walked with God throughout his life -- in Zambia and Zimbabwe, in Pennsylvania and California, in Indiana and in Ontario. When we talked today he referred to some of his favourite verses from 2 Corinthians 4: 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

C.S. Lewis preached a sermon (during the second world war) called "The Weight of Glory", in which we celebrated the eternal glory that we are becoming. On his 90th birthday I celebrate seeing glimpses of that glory in my Dad's life.

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