Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Carried in Our Father's Arms

Every end of the school year in early June, our whole family was scheduled for our annual physical exams, blood tests and immunizations.  It was required by the Methodist Mission for all their missionary families who served overseas.  My mom and dad were working in Korea and every year was the same.  Our little arms were poked with a cocktail of so many disease fighting vaccines we were in agony for days.  Typhoid, tetanus, cholera, yellow fever, diphtheria, and more whose names I can't remember.  We would get feverish, our arms so heavy and painful that sometimes we'd have to lie in bed until we recuperated.

Korea was a very underdeveloped country when my parents first arrived in '57, and by the time I was in elementary school in the 60's, it had rapidly grown, yet most of the country still had no organized sewage system.  You don't want to know how they dealt with their toilet waste.  I'll just say that what we called the "honey bucket truck" didn't smell anything like honey.

I remember one particularly hot June when I was in so much pain from our many shots - I was about 6 years old.  My dad always tried to cheer us up with a special treat, and he had extravagantly bought us a patio table and chairs with an umbrella for outdoor picnics.  He announced it to the three of us kids as we all moaned our thanks from our beds, and then he proceeded to put it together in the living room downstairs so we could all appreciate it.  My brother and sister hobbled down the stairs and came back up excited that Daddy had bought us this cool new thing, but I was too weak and sickly to move.  My dad scooped me up and carried me down very gently and showed it to me, even though I couldn't even lift my head from his shoulder.  He then carried me back upstairs and laid me down in my bed.  I was amazed at how strong and happy he was even though he had had the same vaccinations as we did.  He could actually carry me when I couldn't even stand.

Many times I have thought of God's strength being sufficient for us, that He can easily carry us through tough times when we are out of strength.  I always remember that night with my fevered head on my dad's shoulder as he carried my up the stairs and my gratefulness that he was able to do what was impossible for me.  My relationship with my dad wasn't always so picture-perfect, but I know God imprinted that on my memory so clearly for a reason, and over the years that image of my dad's kindness being like God's, pulled me through some pretty unhappy moments.

Now I have many more examples in recent memory of God coming through for me and doing the impossible, that I don't refer to that one of my dad much any more.  I have real proof that He is alive and actively answering my prayers.  But God knew that I'd need that boost, that image in my head to push me forward until the day that I really knew how great God was on a personal level.

Maybe the kindnesses and acts of faith we show today, are being imprinted on someone else's mind by God Himself, with the hope that they too will push forward to finally know Him.  I think we should count on it.

Above is a picture of me and my dad on his many trips through the Korean countryside overseeing the construction of new church facilities.  This one here is a new orphanage site outside of Seoul, around 1965.


Anonymous said...

This post was very touching. What a great story/memory to have of your dad! I love how you connected it to our being able to be that way to help point others to THE father.

sis-in-law Laurie

suLmaaa said...

Hi Mrs. Evelyn,
love the picture, you're so adorable!
I can clearly relate to what you are talking about having certain actions being imprinted in my life.
Sometimes God even uses these memories to reveal something we're doing wrong or vice versa now.

I remember once when I was young, we were having a yard sale (which was my idea, I was a big tycoon back then). So I'm there selling toys and my youngest sister sees a little horse toy she brought, "Sulma, don't sell that one I want it."
"Okay, okay" I said just brushing her off in order to make more sales. So then here comes another kid and wants to buy the same little horse. I remembered my sister wanted it but, since I wanted to make money I sold it.
My little sister came back later and asked for it. "I don't know what happened to it" I said. She's disappointed but then goes on to play with something else.
I felt so sad and selfish when I realized what I had done. I wanted to please someone else other than my family first because I thought she would get over it. She did and probably doesn't remember now, but I do. It reminds me not take my family for granted but treat them better than I would treat a guest.

Sorry for the long story. Thanks for this message, it really jogged back some memories.
God Bless you always,

Ana Villatoro said...

Hi Mrs. Evelyn,

What a beautiful story, and the way you relate it with the way God loves us. His love is amazing, all we have to do is seek Him with a sincere heart and He lets us find Him.

God bless you.

Maritza Barr said...

Mrs. Evelyn,

I really like the analogy that you made between your father and God. Its true when we young we are vulnerable and depend on our parents for protection and we won't think twice if their there beside us. We know that they wouldn't let harm come our way.

And, even more so with God. He's always there and never forsakes us. Quite the contrary, its US who forsake Him. But, He's the one that we can go to when we have bad days or just have no strength whatsoever to continue on.

Thanks for sharing one of your fondest moments of your father.

Cindy Flores_Manila said...

Hi Mrs. Evelyn,

how wonderful it is to be carried in our Father's arm. I remembered my dadi too. and it is awesome to know and to experience that our Lord carries us whenever we no longer have that strength to go on.

thanks for this Mrs. Evelyn.

God bless.

Cindy from Manila

Gemma Leon UK said...

So beautiful. I totally agree and I would even go as far as to say that I think the devil works so hard to destroy the bond between father and child so that they won’t be able to understand God’s Love. It took me ages to think of God as my Father and to understand what that meant because for as long as I could remember that post in my life was vacant.

Edith said...

Mrs. Evelyn, I feel the same way. There have been times I've struggled on my own to remain strong and have failed many times, and succeeded several times. But every time I face a problem I feel that my father is always going to protect me and rescue me. And that only makes me more certain that God will never fail me because He is able to love and protect so much more than my physical dad. :) Thank you for sharing the story, I will make sure to leave imprints as well.

Raquel Parras said...

Beautiful story and picture!
It is wonderful to have evidence that God is alive because He is active answering our prayers...
I have the same opinion that Maritza:
"Thanks for sharing one of your fondest moments of your father"...***

Sibon said...

Reading this reminded me of when I faced some really tough times and felt as if God was not with me. I would cry to God and say "why have you deserted me. My father never treated me like this, when I was in need of something, he would provide for me, even if it meant asking from someone else". The things my father did for me and my mother also, when I was younger, stayed in my mind. Going through those moments, and crying out to God, finally made me think, if they could do this for me, how much more could God do. Remembering the good people have done for me over the years has been helpful and given me hope when I had no hope. I definitely, want to make this impact on other people and be used by God to bring them closer to Him.