Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stills and Stories

There is something to be said for experiencing an interesting childhood. I was at work and heard a story which had the following elements: Dad, brother, uncle, brand new single shot .410 shotgun, BB gun, hunting, and a whiskey still. Apparently the boys were to hunt turkeys while Dad and uncle checked on the still. Big brother took aim at a turkey, fired and blew his father’s hat off of his head. I am giving you the Cliff’s notes version of the story. What you are missing that I got was all of the inflection and “colorful” euphemisms and anecdotes common to areas where stills pock the hillsides still. I found myself thinking as this story was being told, “Man, I wish I had a story like that to tell.”
I don’t have any stories like that. It is probably a good thing in the grand scheme that I don’t but it did make me think of the stories I have.
There are things that my father taught me that I have not had much use for. Like a left jab that sets up a right hook or upper cut. He taught me basic maintenance on my car. This I use. But nothing to compare to shooting the hat off your father’s head whilst he is checking on a still. But I did learn things from my parents that are priceless.
My parents showed me a picture of God that endures to this day. They did not paint a picture of an old man on a throne that loves his children. I learned of a God that set everything in motion, galaxies to atoms, spinning exactly the way He intended they should spin. I realized that the God of the big picture is intimately involved in the details also. My dad painted me a picture of Jesus not limited to the flannel story boards of my childhood. For several years he would pick up hitchhikers and give them work and a place to stay. A couple of those guys stayed for a while and became a part of our family. They stayed until the demons that drove them to road in the first place drove them from our home. I wondered why we did this and my father said that you never knew when you were picking up an angel. Neat huh?
I heard about God at church with my grandmother. I began to get to know him under my parents teaching.
My oldest son, Billy, told me something profound the other day. The exchange went like this:
“Hey Dad.”
“Yes Bill.”
"God hears all our prayers.”
“God has awesome ears.”
It is doubtful that Billy will have any stories rivaling that related above. But I really hope that both Billy and James Robert get a picture from Kara and me that takes them into adulthood. I hope that the God they see in us is one that is 3 dimensional and real, not 2-D flannel board. These are the profound stories that speak of eternity.


Kristi said...

Billy is the coolest. :)

Jamie said...

Your boys will learn from you and Kara that God loves them very much.

They will also learn how to show their bellies at inappropriate times.

Ben Hamaker said...

God does have ears made out of concentrated awesome.

Thus saith the prophet.