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I Imagine He's Here 

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Story Date

12/10/2010 

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As you may have guessed by now, I am a rather huge fan of my son Ryan; freshman now at Southern. Great kid. Wonderful son to me and Dotty; splendid brother to Holly and Heather. Blessed companion to all of us. But he’s not here just now. He’s up at Southern. Getting his education...

Ryan never met my own dad. He died in 1986. He too was a doctor, like Ryan imagines he wants to be. Tis a pity Ryan never met him. Some say Ryan embodies his gentle spirit; and quiet too. They are right of course, though Ryan knows my dad mostly through me. Dotty too knew him too; was with him when he took his last breaths as he died from renal cell cancer that December in ’86.

All this Ryan knows, as if through some kind of osmosis. He understands, at some level anyway, that in certain ways we live our lives as if my dad was still here. Not he, but his essence and what he was about. His zest for life, his purity of heart, and yes, his genuine and selfless love of the SDA church.

I have, in those years since ’86, learned to live without my dad. Yet in my minds eye, it’s helpful for me to imagine that he is here. I guess what he might say, how he might react to my queries on life. If I have doubts or questions, I check with my own mom who Ryan knows as “Gran”.

Over time, I have become accustomed to living my life imagining my own dad is here, watching. He’s not here of course, but I’ve grown to appreciate how important it is to know his essence is here in important ways. His ethics and his values; his compassion and embrace. The Spirit which animated him, as it does me, is here.

He, my dad, is not here, but I imagine he is…

Ryan too is now gone -- though he’s only an email or text or call away. Imagination, and memory, now play a bigger part in our relationship with him. But these are the very tools -- memory and imagination -- by which I also hold my own father near.

And, come to think of it, these are the same means by which we grasp and experience God in our lives. Out of sight, but here. Seemingly out of earshot, yet with His Word and the cloud of witnesses who tell of His wonders. And with memory of how He has lead us in the past…

 
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Created at 12/10/2010 12:42 PM  by John Shoemaker IV 
Last modified at 12/10/2010 12:42 PM  by John Shoemaker IV 
I Imagine He's Here
December 10, 2010

As you may have guessed by now, I am a rather huge fan of my son Ryan; freshman now at Southern. Great kid. Wonderful son to me and Dotty; splendid brother to Holly and Heather. Blessed companion to all of us. But he’s not here just now. He’s up at Southern. Getting his education...

Ryan never met my own dad. He died in 1986. He too was a doctor, like Ryan imagines he wants to be. Tis a pity Ryan never met him. Some say Ryan embodies his gentle spirit; and quiet too. They are right of course, though Ryan knows my dad mostly through me. Dotty too knew him too; was with him when he took his last breaths as he died from renal cell cancer that December in ’86.

All this Ryan knows, as if through some kind of osmosis. He understands, at some level anyway, that in certain ways we live our lives as if my dad was still here. Not he, but his essence and what he was about. His zest for life, his purity of heart, and yes, his genuine and selfless love of the SDA church.

I have, in those years since ’86, learned to live without my dad. Yet in my minds eye, it’s helpful for me to imagine that he is here. I guess what he might say, how he might react to my queries on life. If I have doubts or questions, I check with my own mom who Ryan knows as “Gran”.

Over time, I have become accustomed to living my life imagining my own dad is here, watching. He’s not here of course, but I’ve grown to appreciate how important it is to know his essence is here in important ways. His ethics and his values; his compassion and embrace. The Spirit which animated him, as it does me, is here.

He, my dad, is not here, but I imagine he is…

Ryan too is now gone -- though he’s only an email or text or call away. Imagination, and memory, now play a bigger part in our relationship with him. But these are the very tools -- memory and imagination -- by which I also hold my own father near.

And, come to think of it, these are the same means by which we grasp and experience God in our lives. Out of sight, but here. Seemingly out of earshot, yet with His Word and the cloud of witnesses who tell of His wonders. And with memory of how He has lead us in the past…

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