Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 5:16 ESV
I was quite moved at the Memorial Day event held at our community clubhouse yesterday. Though I myself have not served in the armed forces, I gratefully recalled all that my dad did during WW2. Dad, as a second generation Italian, had his introduction to Italy when he landed there during the battle of Anzio in March of 1944. Then in August of that year he was wounded, when his landing craft was sunk off the coast of St. Raphael,France. Because I grew up without my dad, I never realized or appreciated all that he did and had gone through that year. To me, dad was just a quiet stranger who didn’t seem to understand the motivations and questions of my generation. Little did I know how much he did know and just how smart he really was.
Today , I sit in wonder as I come face to face with how much he and thousands of other guys did and how much I miss him. Thank God for you dad. I know that you have found peace and ultimate victory in the arms of Jesus Christ but I wanted to take this little space to honor you. You were a quiet soldier, a simple man and a faithful father and I am thankful that God gave you to me.
Though all the honor ultimately belongs to God, I am not only commanded to honor my parents, but God backs this command up with a blessing. And though our moms and dads were not perfect(who is?), we are each in some way blessed as we honor them. God promises a special blessing when we remember them with gratitude and then pass on their story to others. For me, one of those special blessings, was bringing my dad to Washington D.C. for the dedication of the WW2 memorial. I snapped his picture there and then years later, my cousin gave me another photo of him from when he was still in uniform. When I held it up I was suddenly struck by how similar they were. Here was the same man, with the same smile and yet a lifetime of wounds and struggles, defeats and victories separated them. Today I have only a few photographs and memories, but I am grateful for all the good that my dad left behind. God is faithful to keep all His promises. So, let’s pause for a moment and give honor to our parents, so that we may pass along to our own children a life’s story of our own that points to the honor of the most wonderful Father of all!
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