A Father's Reverence: Three Important Lessons from My Dad
- Thursday, June 13, 2013
This quiet love and admiration wasn’t something that was reserved for challah bread and Friday nights, though.
I would realize that same feeling when Dad would lead our family in preparing our church a day in advance for communion. The first Saturday of the month, each of us would walk slowly into the dim, empty church. Our voices would echo off of the walls and the ceiling that rested two stories high above our heads.
There was a strong temptation to scream, and play loud, caustic pop tunes on the sanctuary’s piano. To use God’s house like a jungle gym. But something–whether it was Mom’s admonition, or perhaps the real, unmistakable presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in an empty church–always eventually made us very still. Almost to the point of removing my shoes because of the ground I stood on.
Each of us, my brother, sister, Mom, Dad and I, would furrow our brows as we studiously poured grape juice into each of the tiny communion cups. If we made a small splash, we were to take a Q-tip and absorb the extra purple juice so that the plates the elders would pass during the service would be spotless and shiny.
There was always a moment–a small moment–where we would all stand very quietly as Dad meticulously placed each of the silver communion plates on the table near the altar of the church.
His hands were always strong and sure.
They were the same hands that sometimes, for a reason I haven’t yet discovered, covered his face while he was praying during church. I remember being startled by this serious physical showing of prayer, the way he leaned over, resting his elbows on his knees, hands covering his face.
I began to mimic the same attitude of prayer. It seemed like the right thing to do.
And through all of these things–his sense of humor, bringing home challah, loving literature and preparing the church for communion and prayer (though, probably with the exception of the blue-chalk-white-cat incident)–my Dad does with complete and utter reverence.
This is what he has truly taught me.
For the last twenty-four years of my life, I have seen many different sides of the man that loves me and continues to raise me. But always, whether he was presiding as the president of our school’s PTSA, walking me door-to-door on Halloween as Scarecrow accompanying Dorothy, or just showing up to persistent dance, piano or chorus performances, Dad was there with reverence.
His reverence for the small things transcends into his relationship with our Heavenly Father. When he would cover his face during prayer time, I’d peek through one open eye. Wanting to speak to God like he did. Wanting to communicate with Him the same way. Wanting to have reverence for the things in life that truly matter.
Things like faith and being a parent.
Maybe, just maybe, reverence isn’t simply a genetic character trait that you inherit. Like blue eyes or an even skin tone. No, reverence is taught and reverence is learned. And perhaps one day, I’ll be able to share with my future family about the importance of reverence. Just like my Dad did.
Brett Wilson is a Christ-loving, single, curly-haired, left-handed coffee-addict. She is a public relations writer in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Brett lives with her best friend and a Boston Terrier named Regis. You can read more from Brett at her site, www.amanworthwritingfor.com, or on Twitter.
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