Monday, January 10, 2005

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Yesterday, I sat among the congregration, 20 or so of them, in that tiny Baptist church in Waianae Valley. Every time you stand in front of people, I feel so proud. I feel giddy, and I become like a little girl dangling her feet under the pew. Pastor, that's what they call you.

You look so kind in polyester slacks and aloha shirt. Your thick eyebrows and your silver hair make you look very dignified. For a preacher, you say very little. Your sentences are quaint, and you tell sweet jokes.

Yet, I know your feet and your back still carry the toil of the farm you knew decades ago, when life began to boom just after the Depression. You asked questions about life and what it all means when four tons of pineapple spoil, and you have to throw it all away. I know those kinds of memories hurt. I know you grew up with little money and that pursuing a better life was not easy, not easy like how it was for me. I know the secret decisions you made about claiming a faith, following a spiritual path when no one around you understood what you were doing. You were 27 when you did that, with no promise of a job, a wife, a future. You just had faith.

And this is a faith I inherited. In recent years, I struggled to understand what this faith all means to me, often resentful of how it shackled my arms and feet. For a certain period in my life, I didn't like the things you said from behind the pulpit. You had no idea about how cold my heart was years ago, when I sat listening in contempt of the message you delivered.

I no longer feel this way. I no longer fight with the message and the ideas. I see beyond that, and I see you. I see the love in your heart and a sincerity that is golden. You are humble and strong. You are good-natured. You smile over littlest things. Someday, I hope to be like you.

Your daughter,

Posted by ruth at January 10, 2005 05:25 PM

Aloha Ruth, Mahaalo for sharing such a beautiful and spiritual story. I too, disliked what the Pastors were trying to tell me...for me it was when I lost my husband. Now, I am strong in the Lord again. Now, I am stronger in faith and in mind. No matter what may come my way, no matter how I suffer...he is there to carry me. Please say Mahalo to your dad for me, it is because of men like him that the lost come back to the groom, Christ Jesus!
Lynn Vasquez
Posted by: Lynn Vasquez on June 7, 2005 05:39 PM
Hey Lynn,
Thanks for sharing your story! I will pass this along to my dad.
Take care,
Posted by: ruth on June 8, 2005 01:20 AM
i miss you.
none has ever replaced you.
i love you my friend...
Posted by: christy on July 21, 2005 10:43 AM