Concealed Greatness ( a letter to my father)
Some greatness is concealed. Not to everybody, but to the majority. God understands that. He displays His greatness on a daily basis, but yet there is an element of concealment, and most are blind to the wonder of it all. Yet He is still great and His goodness continues.
There are things that are ‘great’ in my memory of being your daughter.
You are big. I always took pride in the fact that my daddy was ‘big’. I loved hearing my peers exclaim, “He’s sooo tall!” To, me it was so rewarding that they could see right away that you were special.
I loved your hands. They are big too, and I loved the look of how big and strong they were. I loved to hold that hand as we were coming and going. I loved seeing your hand holding a pen and scribbling (yes, scribbling!) out your theological thoughts. I liked seeing them working on projects around the house for mother or piddling with an engine or motor.
I remember the greatness of being held in your arms after a good spanking! The spankings were definitely painful and did their work, but the rest I felt in my heart and the bonding I felt with you when being held afterward still warms me.
Bikes. I remember dragging a junk bike across the Zeman Elementary school yard. It was humiliating because this school had ritzy kids in it that would sneer at my bike and occasionally make mocking comments. I think Esther told you what was going on, because it wasn’t long before you surprised me with a brand new cinnamon colored Schwinn ten speed! I was struck as new things of any kind were a rarity at our house. I felt loved and cared for. I kept it for way too many years!! Then a few years ago, you heard I was struggling keeping my balance on another old bike and you bought me a new ‘granny’ bike with all the bells and whistles!! I love cruising on my bike and thinking of my Father’s love!
Extremism. Within the Kingdom, it was ALL for God or not for God at all. As a first generation Christian, you leaped the boundaries to do things that were quite unusual for one not raised in a Christian home. You stepped in when the school called for dances or evolutionary science. You taught us not to date when no one had heard of that before. You prayed and praised loud, hard and long. You uprooted your family and went to unfamiliar cities because you felt the call of God to do so. Messages that were loud and clear to us on being cross cultural and of obedience to the Lord.
Humor. Your dry sense of humor made me laugh and made me proud.
Time. You valued us by spending family time and vacations, but we’ve talked about that before. And then there were the Saturday mornings of tennis when I got older.
Now that I’m an ‘older’ adult, I enjoy these qualities in God. He is BIG and I’m proud of that and thankful for his protection over us. His hands are loving and caring. His discipline is horrible just like yours but it brings good fruit. He gives me good gifts like you have given me bikes. He surprises me and blesses me beyond what I deserve. God is radical and your example helps me accept and understand that. God makes me laugh and gives me joy. God cares enough of me to spend time with me and I know that’s true because my earthly Father thought I was valuable enough to do so.
All these lessons are learned and accepted as God intended. HE designed families and the father to teach the child about a relationship with God. I praise the Lord that you have done well!
Thousands know and love you, but the greatness is still concealed to it’s full extent from many of them. You aren’t a common name in the world …not even in the Christian world. But, true greatness does not have to be well known to exist.