Today is Father’s day and I’d like to say a word or two about my Dad who factors large in my life. I attribute much of what inspires and challenges me to my father. He was, and still is, a quiet, godly and strong presence in my life that has produced some personal trajectories and passions that would not be there had he not taken the time to do things with me or shared his passion for God in generous ways.
Clearly, my flair for photography and the artistic impulse comes from dad. I still remember when he put one of his own cameras in my hand on a hike as a young teenager. He taught me a few basics about f-stop, lighting, timed exposure and depth of field and then said something like, “see that flower in the field over there?” I was hooked from that point and never turned back. I slowed a bit in taking pictures when I had young children of my own. I did snapshots to keep track of our own family but nothing too creative or extensive. The cost of film and developing plus the time just to keep up seemed too much when diapers, school events and life was so full. Last summer when I bought my first digital camera, a switch flipped inside me and I returned to a former passion with total abandon. The flow of pictures on this blog accredit to this personal renaissance. It has been a joy, therapy and a significant aid in telling the story of what God is doing around us and the adventures that accompany that call. I think dad had that in mind when he gave me that camera, telling visual stories of what God is doing and keeping track of the adventure. Adventures aplenty we have had; growing up and now with my own family. And I expect many more before we are finished. Somehow the joy of adventure was planted early in my life from dad.
One side note. I think my fear of heights also came from something dad did when I was young. In an effort to cure me of a perceived acrophobia on a mountain ridge, dad picked me up and swung me out over a precipice in his arms. I think I peed my pants from fright. I have hung to the uphill side of the trail the rest of my life, making sure my footing was firm with each step. But even with that, I have climbed several mountains, like my dad, and hope to continue to push to the heights of God's creation as long as my body allows me that joy.
Finally, my passion for God and impatience with insignificance comes from dad. Serving God more than sitting in a church pew are traits that Dad quietly modeled in life. I don’t think he ever said you should serve God. But I caught that passion somehow by watching him do significant things for the Kingdom. He also reached out to the people on the fringes who didn’t have the same opportunities that I did. Now as a father myself at the stage of launching my own kids, I only hope I measure up. Thanks Dad. May God reward your remaining years with the joy of having laid a solid foundation of loving God, loving the unloved and loving adventure. Thanks for handing me your camera too.
PS. The picture is of Dad on top of Moro rock in California. The picture was scanned from an old slide. Then I tweaked it in Photoshop with a special brush to give it an artistic touch. I think he is lifting his hands in praise and thanks to God. Don't you think?