Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)
By Merryl Vaughan
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Perhaps three of these may be shared with each one of you, but I ask you to hold the snapshots carefully, because they are precious.
Snapshot one. He was seated hunched over piles of paperwork. He had been there since the tea-table was cleared, planning, writing, working hard. In fact, he was there most nights. His gray hair encircled his shiny pink head, as his tired clear gray eyes focused intently on the matters before him. Gradually, ever so slowly, almost imperceptibly, his head began to droop, while still holding his ball point pen upon the paper. Finally, a little wobbly line eventuated, until, with a jerk, his then closed eyes sprang open and refocused once more. He was the managing director of a major religious film library, dedicated to sharing the Gospel through Christian motion films.
Snapshot two. Quietly, he sat beside me. He spoke sadly, gently, of my mother who only shared six years of my life. The emotions of his heart were not often captured by a camera, but this Snapshot caught his clear eyes filled with love and sadness, gentleness and fatherly concern for his youngest of five children. With understanding and perception, he shared the strength he had found in times of deep sadness, through reading and embracing the words written within the Psalms. “Here”, he said quietly, “you will find strength and courage to go on.”
Snapshot three. His white face bobbed helplessly in the surging waters. He was struggling to un-entangle his arms from the fishing line which trapped him from being able to swim. Sucked off the rocks into the surging ocean while retrieving my line, he now battled between life and death. Like a cork being washed wherever the tide surged, I saw him washed out and then, thankfully and yes, miraculously, in again. Snapshots have no soundtrack, however the hug he gave me when he finally with ashen face, wearily clambered out of that impending watery grave spoke volumes to my young throbbing heart.
Oh, there are many more Snapshots of my father. Perhaps a summation of my album’s content is: my father helped me trust in God. Today my album is tied with a ribbon of love and stored carefully in my heart for the rest of my life.
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