Somewhat less than forty-nine years ago, the two men shaking hands were involved in a service of ordination in Minneapolis. The one on the right has no memory of that event, it occuring somewhat before his brithday. The one on the left, Rev Arnold Swanson, lives as a reminder that the reality of being a pastor happens not in a ceremony, but in the hour after hour, day after day, decade after decade living out of what he believes.
My dad started his professional life planning to be an architect. He even designed a couple shopping centers (being in the days before malls). However, his life was interupted by a non-war called Korea which held real bullets and real explosions and a very real six month hospital stay. Somewhere in there, Dad realized that God wanted him to build men instead of buildings. So he went back to school, started working for an organization for boys, and spent more than forty years on that work, my mother at his side. Shortly after he retired, Dad had a couple strokes, and so they have dealt well with not having the mobility and speech agility that characterized his work life.
So here I am, two days after a ceremony, and realizing that I have a lot of living to do to get to where Dad and Mom are. They are living with grace, keeping faith with God and each other and everyone that watches.
That’s my heritage. That’s my example. That’s real life.