After a long day at work, I pointed my car east and headed to my parents' house, anxious to spend precious hours among the pines with the two people who love me most. Despite a whole lot of traffic, a little bit of rain, and a ferocious south wind, I made good time and arrived just before nightfall.
As usual, Daddy was at the front door with Mother right behind him, giving out hugs that made me question the sanity of living alone. Supper was still warm on the stove, and while they filled me in on the latest happenings, I consumed what was left of the shrimp casserole. The sound of their voices soothed me, and I fully released the stresses of my day.
After three games of dominoes, Mother puttered in the kitchen, preparing for lunch the next day. Daddy and I retreated to the den, where we sat talking about nothing really. At one point, he mentioned a song he had sung while ministering out-of-state recently, and then he began singing it. When he got to the chorus, I joined in with harmony notes. It’s an old song, and the chorus says:
When I look back down the road, where I laid my heavy load,
And I think of all the victories I've won;
Sometimes I get a thrill, when I look back down the hill,
And I see just where the Lord has brought me from.
The significance of the lyrics weren't lost on me as I harmonized with my 87-year-old father, walking the last miles of his journey, no doubt. Without warning, a tear rolled down my cheek, and then another, and another. How blessed I was to have had my father all these years, and how grateful I was for the indelible influences his faith has had on my life and on the lives of countless others. ♦