Am I the only person who failed to appreciate one of his parents during his lifetime?
My father was an extremely well educated man. His law degree from the College of William & Mary was later upgraded to a Doctorate of Jurisprudence because the college recognized that law students from that earlier era had done the equivalent of what they now required for a doctoral degree. And he practiced law for several years–I don’t know how many–before feeling God calling him in a different direction.
That’s when he and my mother packed up and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he got a seminary degree, preparing for the ministry.
Love of study turned out to be a lifelong passion. His sermons–he preached morning and evening on Sundays and did an in-depth Bible study on Wednesday nights–resulted from hours of seclusion in his study. Have I mentioned that not only didn’t he read his sermons, he didn’t even use notes? Yes, he memorized each sermon, and I don’t recall ever hearing him falter. Amazing.
And even though he kept meticulous outlines of hundreds of sermons–probably thousands–he never reused a sermon. Not until he had moved on to a different church, and even then he only reused special ones.
The one that comes to mind–I suppose I heard it at least three or four times while I was growing up–was titled “A Lawyer Examines the Crucifixion of Christ.” What a unique idea! And who better qualified to look at Jesus’s illegal trial and crucifixion than a lawyer-turned-minister?
He also had a children’s story for each worship service. Although I’m sure he told a number of good stories, one of them still sticks out in my mind some forty-some or fifty years later. I don’t recall the details, but it had something to do with a clay pot that was beautiful except for a flaw on one side. The story concluded with the decision to “turn the crack to the back” so that it wouldn’t detract from people’s admiration and enjoyment of its beauty.
My parents have been dead more than twenty years, and only now am I starting to appreciate them –especially my father–the way I wish I’d done way back when. Those stories he told about the family and about so many other things, the ones I tired of hearing then, are lost forever.
Is there someone in your life you ought to listen to and appreciate more? I urge you not to wait until it’s too late. Let that person know how you feel–today. How about sharing a comment?
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