Today while looking for something specific on one of our bookcases, I saw this old dusty, brown leather ring binder that brought back so many memories. Memories of my daddy. Porter, the country preacher.
Memories of it sitting on his desk or propped up against other books on his bookcase.
I pulled it out and began thumbing through it. It was a textbook my dad had used when he was in seminary back in the early 1940's that remained a study book for him and place to write notes in the margins and a place to leave notes for some future sermon. It still has a strip of tape to hold it together from who knows how many years ago.
I love looking through this treasure and seeing what my intelligent and sensitive father thought was important enough to notate or highlight. I wonder about the notes written in different colors; was there a reason? Did he use red for something he thought especially meaningful, or blue because it touched him in a certain way? Or was it simply because that was the pen he had closest by on that particular day?
Oh, if I could go back 23 years before he went to be with His Lord and ask him these questions.
They would have never occurred to me back then. I was aware of the book but don't recall ever even looking inside all the years I lived with this special man of God. That may be why the few little jotted lines of an incomplete sermon outline had such an impact on me today.
Wedged between the pages of Matthew chapters 25 and 26 was a folded sheet of yellowed paper. It was folded because this is the way Dad wrote most of his notes. I'm guessing because they fit easily into his Bible for reference on Sundays. Another unasked, unanswered question.
The Bible reference was Matthew 26:6 - 13 about a woman (Mary) pouring out an expensive ointment on the head of Jesus. These are his handwritten notes:
1. She has done a beautiful thing - extravagant. Equal in value to a years wages
2. A timely thing - some opportunities never come again
3. A feasible thing - she did what she could
4. An insightful thing - "anointed my body before hand for burying". Mary believed Him! Only Mary had the sensitivity of heart to understand what was happening.
5. A memorable thing -
And that's all. I don't know if he ever preached it or if these were just thoughts and revelations as he studied. I wish I knew.
But, one thing I do know without having to ask.
My Daddy loved the Lord and knew about doing the beautiful, timely, feasible and memorable things in life. He taught us by example!
He loved unconditionally everyone he met. He gave his life unconditionally to his "Calling." He lived every day for our mother and our family.
He gave what he had to bring honor and glory to the Lord who had saved him and called him into His service just as Mary had done.
Yes, there are so many things I wish I could sit down and talk to Daddy about. Dick said just this week, "Will we ever stop missing him?" No, we won't and in some ways the missing is as acute today as it was the day he died. But, I am so grateful that I know without wonder or doubt the important things my Dad taught and lived.
Oh that one day our children will sift through the things we leave behind and be as grateful that our lives reflected the Lord we served.
May all who come behind us "Find Us Faithful!"