These days around the house. Nothing like touching the past in unexpected and strange ways. Synapses in the brain’s memory chambers…stuff that was tucked away and getting dusty suddenly and starkly brought to life. Each time there is an inevitable pause and thinking back, reminiscing quietly. Or getting a little excited about something and trying to explain it to someone who did not live it. I am in the process of scanning TONS of materials to ‘downsize’ and digitize old records, correspondence, school materials for adults and daughter, photos galore from all over and throughout the years. Even stuff you wouldn’t think would spark much of anything – tax returns over decades, for example – give you addresses and jobs and ‘moments’ (fleeting now, but back then lingering on) of barely getting by and co-workers and successes and setbacks to reencounter and reconsider.
And then I am also copying all the sermons of my father…hand-written over years. And I run my fingers over them like they possess some old, really impressive magic. Powerful messages scrawled on old paper that my father labored over diligently. They are full of his poetic way of expressing ideas…full of passion and simple and moving illustrations to help get ideas across to all kinds of people. My deceased father’s own hand…and my knowing that he worked on these day and night in the week before the particular service …I would see this process up close and personal over the years…in various places with countless different things going on in his daily life and all around him. It makes me clearly remember those messages delivered so strongly with booming voice and emphatic whisper, with his own distinctive style and humor, with his obviously caring heart for his people… as I listened there and was moved and uplifted in those pews in whatever church it was at the time. And I recall how seriously he always took his role as servant…while still being a strong, dynamic leader. And the proof of how seriously he took the art of preaching is evident in every line of these old pages.