At the time of this writing, you are: 18, 14, and 13, and you are all just getting to the age where you are starting to be men. You are old enough to understand the difficulties in this life and are experiencing some of the privileges that go with manhood.
I would like to tell you what your father was like when he was a little older than you are now, since he is so humble and modest that you'll never hear it from his lips. Daddy is uncommonly humble, so much so that he probably wouldn't even think of himself as being special in any way. And someone has got to tell you in such a way that you wouldn't forget. That's why I'm choosing a letter--a public letter, so I don't have to write it again, and you can access it whenever you want.
I met Daddy when he was 24. He was sitting in a prayer meeting that was (that week) in the home of the Watson's. Everyone in that prayer meeting could have fit in our livingroom. Everyone in that prayer meeting was older, except for he (and me, of course, since I was 20).
This, in itself, was significant. Why would a 24 year old align himself with all of these old people, anyway? (You have heard me joke that Mom and Dad met in the senior citizen prayer meeting).. Is it because we both had an uncommon fascination with geriatrics? no. That is where the Word of God was being taught and honored above all other forms of foolishness. It was, and still is, the older Christians that give insight into the Word of God and have wisdom for daily living.
After that old folks prayer meeting, we would sit around have a lot of pie (Mrs. Robbins made the best pie, and Daddy still talks of it) and talk about things of the Lord. I remember old Mr. Wessman (who is now in his 90's) talk about how God provided a bag of potatoes in the middle of the road during the time of the depression. Apparently, his wife told him to bring home a bag of potatoes on his way home from work. This was during the depression, and the Lord had a big bag of potatoes land in the road right in front of him. He stopped his car, got out, and picked up the bag and threw it in the truck. "Thaaaank you, LOrd" he said in his long "yooper" accent.
This was the setting in which Mommy and Daddy got to know each other. We listened to the old people talk and tell stories about God's provision. We asked questions about doctrine and God and answered prayer. And they just beamed when I went to visit the prayer meeting. All of these people were so nurturing and protecting of Mommy. I felt very safe there.
I could see Daddy in his element. He loved the old people and delighted in their attentiveness toward him also. I could tell that Daddy was in no hurry to move on and do other things. He didn't have "something else" he needed to get to. There were no cell phones, no IPODS, no pressing needs. I will admit that it was hard for Mommy sometimes, since you know how jumpy I am. But I would diffuse some of my energy by helping out with the dishes and stuff--when they would let me.
I know you know most of this story already, but I just thought I'd tell it to you again, but I plan to tell you a lot more about Daddy and how I knew he was a godly man. We'll just start here.
-your loving Mother