Monday, May 22, 2006

Fathers And Sons

Today is my dad’s birthday. I took this informal portrait of mum and dad in their back garden on a recent visit to Glasgow.

Dad and mum were (and still are) missionaries before me. I like that. It is a rich inheritance – all the richer for the differences between us. Just as their biological DNA is recycled in me, to create something at once unique and continuous; so their spiritual DNA is recycled in me to create something new…

I also really value doing the line of work (broadly speaking; I don’t mean the specific circumstances of my current employment) my father did before me. It just feels ‘right.’ Joseph and David might have finished as First Minister of Egypt and King of Israel respectively, but they both started out on their dads’ farms; Andrew, Peter, James and John might have ended up as disciples, sacred writers, martyrs, patron saints of nations, but they all started out working their dads’ fishing boats; Jesus might have gone on to build rooms in heaven under his heavenly Father, but he apprenticed as a carpenter in Nazareth under his earthly dad. God may choose to call a son in a new direction (my dad’s dad worked in imports in the City of London), but the family business is a good place to start from…

Happy birthday, dad! Many happy returns of the day.


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