I remember this picture being taken. It was in great grandpas front garden in Hague Saskatchewan. It was taken to include in a history book of the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference, and our families long history with that group of Mennonites.
It was a photo of the men in my life. Me, Reuben (Dad), David (Great Grandpa), John (Grandpa).
They were, we were, by our own estimation, imperfect men. Men who worked hard and tried to be faithful to our families, our communities, and our God.
You work with what you've got when you live life. None of us are born perfect and I guess there is much expected of us as we learn along the way.
But being perfect was never the goal. (As I am still learning.)
Whole, life giving relationships are the goal. Living in community with others including our families, that's the goal. Living in a good relationship with God through Jesus Christ, that's a grace and a goal.
Still it's not always easy with these imperfect minds and bodies we have been handed down with.
Here's a photo I've carried around in my wallet for about a million years. Our young family.
It's a moment in time, a snapshot when most of us are smiling, which can be rare.
Being a dad was, from an early age, the only thing I felt was something I really wanted to explore and experience and know. To date it's probably the one thing that I really hold close in my life, this little community that Lauralea and I were able to come up with, with God's big help.
It's probably also the one thing in my life that I feel like I could have gotten better in many different ways. But as we all do, I did what I could, with the tools I had at my disposal.
I've helped churches get born and get better, I've helped people find God and see miracles happen in their lives through knowing Jesus. I've seen people healed and whole communities get healed, but this family that I'm the dad of, this bunch is my lifes work. This is the thing I am glad I was able to be a part of, even though my brokenness and my ways.
If I can stand before God with this family he entrusted to me, and present them to Him and have them know Him too, even in ways that will be different than my own experience with Him, then life will have been pretty much a success.
And now I am the one aging in the top photo. I am the generation handing off, passing on, praying in. I'm the only one left still here from that photo and I am working with Christ to pass things on to the next generations.
I suppose that is all a part of our journey, but my how it seems to be speeding along.
You take care, whatever part of the picture is yours this day.
Happy Father's Day.