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What’s it like being loved?

by davesandel on December 7th, 2011

Matthew 11:28-30

         Jesus said to the crowds: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Dad had two favorite songs.  We sang one of them, “I’ll Fly Away,” at his funeral.  The other was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

Dad worked hard, often alone. I think he was pretty hard on himself.  He was a quiet man who mostly kept his troubles inside.  He never learned how to express his emotions in words, but I remember him singing.  He sang as he lived: quietly, with no fanfare. His eyes were soft, and when he finished the song, I could feel his smile.

         Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
         Precious Savior, still our refuge … take it to the Lord in prayer.
 

         God always gives his people vision: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light … You have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders … Every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.  For to us a child is born, unto us a son is given …” (Isaiah 9).

In the USA this is Pearl Harbor Day.  I usually think of my dad on December 7.  When Andi was in the Urbana High School symphonic band, Mom and Dad came with us to a concert held on Pearl Harbor Day.  Along with the other Army vets, Dad stood up, with some difficulty, when the band played “The Caissons Go Rolling Along.”  Those vets were all getting older every day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd7oglEdQss

During the Vietnam War, I applied for status as a conscientious objector.   In a box of “memories,” I recently found letters written by my pastor and other friends to the draft board, and I wonder how my father felt then, twenty years after he left the Philippines when World War II ended.  I don’t remember what he said to me.  I do remember not feeling undermined, even if he disagreed.

After Dad turned 70, we both realized we wanted to spend more than just a few moments together now and then.  We took some trips – to the Billy Graham Retreat Center in North Carolina, to a conference in Minneapolis for charismatic Lutherans, to see the passion play in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, to a bluegrass day at Rockome Gardens, to Old World Wisconsin.  A lot of good things happened to us on our trips.

It was at Lake Lulu, where my friends Don and Pat invited Mom, Dad and me to stay at their home near Old World Wisconsin, that I last saw my dad in swimming trunks.  By this time he didn’t have much of his farmer’s tan (white legs, white chest, brown arms).  He took his time coming down the stairs to the lake.  But he got in the water.  And he was smiling.

Today I mostly see him smiling. Hear him singing his favorite songs.  Very grateful to still be learning from him something of what Jesus taught him about burdens and yokes, and about being loved.

Bless the Lord, o my soul, bless his holy name.  You crown me with kindness and compassion, you are merciful and gracious.  And you do not requite me according to my crimes.  Bless the Lord, o my soul!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8Hdiw1KYx8

 http://christiancounselingservice.com/archived_devotions.php?article_id=954

 

 

 

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