Some of the most important life lessons I’ve learned is from watching my father when he didn’t know I was looking. I watched moments when my dad would stop to listen to someone who needed help. I’ve had to wait for my parents after church because they were talking to a new family who was down and out. They both severed others with a real genuine love. There were times when they would open up our home and let families live with us, just so the family wouldn’t be out on the streets. I remember overhearing my parents read the newspaper about a friend they tried so hard to help who was homeless, he was killed across the street at the bus stop. The news broke my parent’s heart.
I often tell myself, “It’s none of my business,” when I see a person in need, but to my parents, they make other’s problems, their business. They lead in the background. They help those who need someone to talk to, pray with, council, or mentor. I’ve watched my parents wake up early, read books, read their bible, I see how there first reaction to life’s difficult issues is to bring it to God.
Today, I am still challenged to serve others because of both my parent’s example. I was born into a family that gives of their ‘off the clock’ time, I was given a father who stops to listen to the panhandler’s story. My mom tells me tales about when they were first together before my dad met Christ. Stories about her willingness to not give up on him – to pray for him and to love him when he was failing as a husband and father. It makes me wonder what life would have looked like if she gave up or if he gave up on himself.
The man in her stories is but a distant person who no longer exists. It’s hard to honor my dad, without honoring my mom. Both a team – together making life an adventure.
I am challenged everyday by both my parents to help the hurting, they know first hand, the power of a transformed life by living a life after God.