The Father’s Song

HarwoodDad“And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”- 2 Corinthians 3:3

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”- Maya Angelou

Throughout my parents’ fifty-five year marriage, my father’s song was muted.  My father expressed his love in subtle, unassuming ways.  Many Sunday afternoons were spent unpacking, running, and repacking his 1928 Lionel standard gauge train.  Dad often included my childhood best friend Cliff on weekend outings.  When mom was hospitalized for almost six months in a TB sanitarium. my father embraced his single-parent responsibilities- except, perhaps, for cooking.

After mom’s death in 2004, my father’s song crescendoed.  He joined the hand chime choir at Harwood Place Assisted Living, even christening the group the Ding-a-lings.  Dad also was the self-appointed activities ambassador, knocking on every resident’s door and inviting them to participate.  Most significantly, my father never let our visits end without a hug.

After the initial impact of our ministry downsizing or vocation loss subsides, the Father’s song diminishes to a seeming imperceptible pianississimo (ppp).  Life becomes an unfinished symphony.  We turn a deaf ear to the Creator’s symphony, muting its nuances of wonderment and joy.  Yet, in the midst of our pain and anguish, the Father’s song of love wafts above and around us, infusing our souls with tranquility and awe.  Physician Lewis Thomas once wrote about the elation we would experience if we truly could hear the sounds of God’s creation:

“If we had better hearing, and could discern the descant of sea birds, the rhythmic tympani of schools of mollusks, or even the distant harmonies of midges hanging over meadows in the sun, the combined sound might lift us off our feet.”

As the Father’s song is written on our hearts, through the power of the Holy Spirit we are transformed to boldly revision and revitalize our calling.  The prophet Zephaniah penned these words of blessing and hope:

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”- Zephaniah 3:17

 

About the author

    Dave Henning

  • That pretty well sums up your dad, and his ministry. Well written I compliment you for a very moving, and touching tribute; not only to your father’s love of life and those around him….but our heavenly father as well. I’ll always treasure the time that I shared with him, it was a joy. I also want to thank you…..for sharing him with me as well. Beautifully written David, he would be thrilled to read this…..as much as how he is so proud of all that you have done in the short amount of time that he “left us”. he would be very proud of you….surely, one can see the influence that he had on your life. Many Blessings to you now and always, and thank you for allowing me into your life! love Knucks.

  • Avatar Ruth Hansen says:

    A beautiful post, all the way through. Thanks for sharing this portrait of your dad. I also love the musical analogy; it was what brought Vicki and me, and our families, together. What a blessing you have both been to us!


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