“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~Mark 10:45 NLT.
Serving means sacrifice.
We see it first hand with military personnel, police department, fire fighters, and EMTs. These people go in and out of danger, for the safety of others at the potential danger of themselves. They sacrifice. They care for others needs above their own.
A couple of weeks ago, I conducted a ladies retreat for our women’s ministry. One of the fun activities that we did was have a Karaoke evening. Two ladies chose to sing the song Daddy’s Hands by Holly Dunn. It was beautiful and beautifully done by them.
Listening to that song made me think of my daddy’s hands. They were withered and wrinkled. He was missing his ring finger and middle finger, from the middle knuckle, of his left hand. Although he lost them in a lawnmowing accident, he still managed to have strength in that hand. He was even able to play the guitar without the full use of those two fingers.
They were soft and kind.
There were times when my feelings were hurt from harsh words spoken to me by people closest to me. When I would cry over a lost love or betrayal, they were present. They were wrapped around me in comfort and support to hold me up and tell me I was his baby.
Hard as steel.
Punishments were never avoided when I did something that was against the rules or pushed the boundaries. My daddy never wanted me to turn out like him with an illegal past. He often disciplined me stricter than any of my other sisters because he saw so much of himself in my behaviors. The more commanding his presence, the more he believed he could prevent me from going to jail from breaking a law.
Worked until they bled.
For my entire childhood and teenage years, I remember daddy always working. He was an older dad because he didn’t meet my mom until he was in his 40s. Since he spent most of his young adult years in prison, he was never allow to go to college or get a good paying job. He was incredibly smart, artistic, and capable of doing anything he put his mind too. (Except for grilling steaks.)
He worked hard for nearly 20 years of my life until his body got so tired that he wasn’t able to keep up with the younger crowd of workers. Ultimately, he threw himself into retirement and my mom was the bredd winner of the family after that. But when he was working, it was hard. I remember him doing maintenance jobs, woodworking, welding, plumbing, wiring, mechanics, and building. He created masterpieces from pool fountains crafted out of odd rock shapes to entertainment center furniture made out of doors. My daddy worked and worked and worked until he wasn’t able to work anymore.
Throwing himself into retirement caused him to feel stir crazy to where he would busy himself starting stuff and not completing it but he would still bleed over his work.
There was love in his hands.
I remember when I was a single mom and daddy came to visit. He looked around my house, pretending to look for a cup for a drink, and discovered how bare my cupboards were. After he hung around with idle chit chat, he asked me to go to the store with him because he needed to grab some things. We went to the store with my two young daughters, and he walked down every single aisle grabbing anything he “needed.” All the while he was actually grabbing nothing but food he knew we would need or like.
My daddy spent nearly $200 purchasing food for our family, making me believe it was things he had to get for his house until we returned to mine and he began unloading all of the groceries. He wasn’t perfect but he did go out of his way to give to others. There were many times that my nieces were stranded because their cars broke down. No matter the time of day, he went out on the rescue mission.
“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” – Mandy Hale