I’ll never forget the peaceful mornings I spent at home as a child. I remember my Dad coming in to wake me up for school, leaning down in my face to say in a whisper, “Wake up, sleepy head! It’s time to get up.” I could smell the coffee on his breath and was a bit resentful at his chipper morning mood. I remember the smell of bacon and eggs they were making for breakfast. I was a milk and cereal girl, myself.
I remember our Saturday morning routine. On those days, Dad didn’t wake me up! The smell of his homemade pancakes wafting into my room did though! I remember wrapping myself in my fuzzy robe, pushing my hair out of my face as it lay in all different directions. I slipped on my houseshoes, because Mother hated seeing bare feet in chilly weather. I sat in Dad’s recliner, waking up. Soon, I’d dig in to some yummy homemade blueberry pancakes doused in syrup. I can taste them now!
After Dad ate, he’d pull out his well worn Bible and begin the reading for the day. I remember when he read Psalm 34 aloud. I remember how tender his voice got as he read verse six. “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” His voice was soft. His eyes were glistening. “I love that verse.” He’d say. “That’s what the Lord did for me.”
I don’t think he knew then that I would remember. I don’t think he realized I was paying attention. But I was. It’s been about 20 years since that breakfast-table moment took place. But I remember. Just like it was yesterday, I can bring it all back.
I remember the day it arrived. It wasn’t a happy day, but it was another step toward closure. I approached it with some trepidation, just as I did the coffin holding his body in the funeral home. Was this real? I wondered. Or is this all a terrible dream? As I crunched through the fallen leaves, holding my jacket around me to keep out the wind, I looked down at the block of gray stone that bore my Dad’s name. Beneath the dates were these words:
Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
My mind raced back in time to the breakfast table from years gone by. I knew these were the right words for this man – my father, my friend.
They’re the right words for me, too. I was so poor, so needy, I had no one. But Dad and Mom showed me the way. They pointed with their lives to the One who could save me from all of my troubles. And He has.