Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)
TITLE: A Legacy of Hands, A Legacy of Heart
By David Morey
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I know such a story. It’s about my father. He is a quiet, humble man who, without trying, made his way into a movie that has been shown around this country and beyond. Many think it simple chance. But those of us who know him best believe it was God’s great pleasure to celebrate a man who would never celebrate himself.
If you have seen the movie Facing the Giants, you have seen people and places that populate my home town. The school that is the inspiration for Shiloh Christian Academy has a history that includes my sisters and me, nieces, nephews and numerous friends. As students we walked the halls the Shiloh students walk and we played football, or just played, on the same field where the Shiloh Eagles play. It has been exciting to see many familiar places and many familiar faces captured in this film. But, most exciting, was sitting in a theater and seeing my father’s face on film. He did not intend it so. He is too humble. He was simply attending a game and supporting his school on the night that footage was filmed. It was incredibly appropriate and, I believe, ordained.
The buildings you see on film bear the mark of my father’s hands. He was the construction manager who, in 1970, walked onto vacant land and envisioned what would be. Footings and forms, concrete slabs, columns and beams, roofs and walls; they are the craft of his hands. He built the buildings where his children, and the children of others, would learn and laugh and grow and eventually graduate. He built the buildings where in the next generation some of his grandchildren, and other’s, would do the same. He built the buildings that became the background for a movie about football and faith.
Many of the actors and extras you see on film bear, in a measure, the mark of my dad’s heart. He was a father who walked onto vacant land and envisioned what could be; children learning and growing in math and science and language and also in faith. He envisioned a place that prepared children to succeed in this world but taught them that, by faith, they were not of this world. As a caring father, board member and leader he helped build the environment where children would learn of their world and also of their God. It became the craft of his heart.
As my dad was building literal foundations, he was building a spiritual foundation as well. On these foundations of footings and faith, a school arose from which students have carried intellect and reason and the message of faith into their homes, careers and now an international film. Many who prayed for and supported and even appeared in Facing the Giants have, as students, walked the halls that were built by my father’s hands and have been educated in the environment that was fashioned, in part, by my father’s heart.
And so, a campus is the legacy of my father’s hands. A challenging program of academics and faith is the legacy of my father’s heart. And now, an evangelical film, shown in theaters and homes across America and by missionaries in various places, is, in part, a legacy of my father as well. Only in eternity will the full impact of his legacy be known.
If you watch the movie look for my dad. He’s not too hard to find. Just before the playoff game with Tucker, there is a shot of the crowd. As the camera pans, look for a man with glasses and a gray shirt. He’s sitting low in the stands and his arms are crossed. He’s looking up the field. And, when you see him, know he is not just a face in the crowd. He is a man with a history of faith and faithfulness. He is a man with a legacy that runs through Southwest Georgia and far beyond.
And, now, it runs to you. Celebrate my father, Walter, with me. Celebrate his history, his legacy. He is a quiet man whom God has allowed this moment of fame. He has earned this moment. It is well deserved.
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