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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Staff (01/31/13)

TITLE: My Father's Staff
By
02/02/13


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His hair is almost entirely white now, his shoulders rounded, his eyes framed with gentle creases. Still, he heads out for his daily walk. I watch him sometimes as he starts gingerly down the familiar road, walking-stick in hand; something of a staff, I suppose. Years ago this man meant power to me, and any stick in his hand would have been a symbol of his strength and authority. Now, however, leaning against his staff as if it were a cane, my father breaks my heart in his weakness. Little time remains for this frail gentleman to tread these paths.

My thoughts turn gradually to another Man, appearing weak and broken, nearly spent. Surrounded by soldiers, “They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said. They spit on him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again,” (Matthew 27:28-30, NIV). How my heart would shatter if my earthly father were treated such! As I glimpse him, walking alone in the distance, my eyes fill with tears at the thought. How often have I neglected, not appreciated, the man?

And yet, how much more have I failed to appreciate what was done for me by the Son of my Heavenly Father? How much more have I overlooked the staff used to strike him on the head again and again? When have I considered this instrument of authority and kingship delivering blow after blow to the King himself? How few times have my eyes filled with tears upon recollection of his suffering on my behalf?

As my own father turns and begins his journey back toward home, I reconsider the weakness I see symbolized in his staff. Christ’s staff was not a sign of his weakness, but his strength; the strength of his love, his commitment, his devotion, and his kingdom. Likewise, my father’s staff is not a sign of his weakness, but a sign of Christ’s love and kingdom. Before long, this aging believer will be in the presence of the One who redeemed him, who has sustained him, and who has gone ahead to prepare a place for him. Upon leaving this existence he will enter into one far more glorious, one in which he will no longer need his staff for walking. And then he will finally be home.


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This article has been read 182 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD (Camille) Swanson 02/08/13
Beautifully written, and so touching. Nice job.

God bless~
Laury Hubrich 02/14/13
That is very touching. Thank you for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/14/13
Congratulations on ranking 20 overall and for your HC in your level!