When I was “back home again in Indiana”, (and, if you’re a native Hoosier, you’re probably familiar with that song, even though no one seems to know where “Hoosier” itself comes from)…anyway, when I was back home again in Indiana just last weekend to see the folks, I was helping them consolidate to move into their new apartment.
Both of them are your typical Builder-Gen—responsible, frugal, forward-thinking, hard-working. Nothing is to be assumed, (Dad taught me how to spell “assume”—it makes an “ass out of u and me”), and nothing is to be taken for granted. Gratitude is a chosen attitude, and God’s will and wisdom are superior to mine.
Yes, I know not to put my folks a pedestal, and I don’t. But let’s be real; not everyone has had parents like mine.
So while I’m helping Dad recuperate from a knee problem across the street in a separate facility, Mom and my sis (who is local—thank God!) are sorting, organizing, and packing and sweating, with Dad and I out of the way.
Mom did request, bless her heart, that my brother and I go through Dad’s old financial records (V-E-R-Y old) before she takes them to the shredder, not becauseshe is in any way insecure or unknowledgeable about any of their monetary status, but simply in case we would have any interest. Which, honestly, we didn’t, nor did either of us have the fiduciary capability to decipher much of what was in the reams of yellowing papers. So I told my brother I would take care of it.
That night, sitting on the little bed in my dad’s old study with the pile in front of me, I took out all the nice, expensive black paperclips; at least that much I could do, yea me. As I thumbed through the stack, what I was seeing was essentially diligent investing, saving, and sacrifice.
Years of it.
What could have gone for fancy cars, a bigger house, or some of the other first-world luxuries to which my generation feels so egregiously entitled, was instead invested toward four college educations, weddings, braces, medical expenses, and retirement (“because we don’t want to be a burden on anybody…”).
In other words, in secret, when I was a youngster doing the stupid things that youngsters to—need I enumerate them??—Mom and Dad were providing for me in ways that I was not even aware of at the time. They saw what I had no way of seeing, and they loved me and sacrificed for me in ways I had no way of understanding (and not merely in the realm of future financial security.)
Yet another good example of working behind the scenes is in the Bible; a story of how God used a pagan king, Cyrus, to help rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem:
“And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? It is for the sake of Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one. I am the Lord; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me,…”
Of course, even an infantile understanding of Christianity will point in direction of God’s covert and unappreciated love for us:
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Mom and Dad’s old financial records are headed for the shredder, but their legacy lives on, not simply because of what they have saved, but because of what they have preserved, not just for us, but in us—a legacy of faith in Someone that, regardless of downsizing here on Earth (because that’s inevitable), continues to work to build for
us and in us an eternal Legacy that we cannot see with temporal eyes.
And no shredder can can touch that, ever.
(Thanks, Mom and Dad.)
Isaiah 45:4,5; Romans 5:8 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.