Today my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Through ups and downs they have shown me how love, commitment, hope can lead us into the presence of Christ.
Through struggles in seemingly every direction they have helped me to know Christ, see Christ, hear Christ, respond to Christ.
Though not ordained, they are the best ministers I know. They pray. They counsel. They spend their lives working with those who society (and the church) often ignores.
All without acclaim, following faithfully the calling to help others find their voice and find new hope.
They have shared their love of Scripture with us, how to wrestle in prayer. They have inspired me through their love of beauty, truth, and occasionally silliness.
They have spent their lives fighting strongholds and defending their family against injustice and frustrations, bearing the brunt of much I know and much I don’t know, giving me a model of how I want to contend for my family and future generations.
I wish I lived closer to them. I miss seeing them and celebrating with them and for them today. I wish I had the resources to throw them a lavish party and tokens of thanks and value that marks how much I love, appreciate, respect them.
I don’t have those resources and life is filled with uncertainty.
What I do have is what I have received from them: a faith and a hope and a dogged persistence in seeking after the fullness of the Spirit’s work.
I have a commitment to family that has shaped a lot of my decisions, calling me away from frenzy and into trusting God’s provision.
I have a lot of thanks for them, a lot of love, an ever present hope to keep pressing on, because time and time again I have seen them overcome and seen how it blossoms.
Happy 50th Anniversary, Mom and Dad.
I love you and I so value who you are and who you help others to be.