SEE, I HAVE GIVEN
with Rev. Rachel
29 SEE, I HAVE GIVEN Genesis 1
On Lorimer Road, my best friend was named Rachel. She was Jewish. Her father was a philosophy professor. Having the Goldstein’s for neighbors taught me how not to draw lines in the sand before others could teach me that I must.
Some days, Elodie made us three and Elizabeth made us four. When we cooked up the lemonade stand, Elizabeth counted the profit as hers—because we used her cashbox. I aim to get over it.
On Lorimer Road, the Swimming Hole was near. I’d ride my bike. With an oatmeal cream pie, two plums, and I can’t remember what else, I was where I wanted to be. [They unofficially named the fence around the kiddie pool after yours truly because I was a fish and thought the world should embrace me as such.]
I did not mean to take a trip down memory lane; at least not an-all-the way trip. But I was back for my college reunion and I couldn’t help myself. I missed a turn. It was a “might as well” moment.
Toss it up to age; or to a combination of vulnerability and life having been, well, life. The car door ajar, I walked as far as the sidewalk. There I stood before my father having made a way. Every dinner, every trip to Carolina Cones and each pitcher of Five Alive…grace upon grace, he had given (v.29).
It was good. It was precious in my sight, all these years later. The house looked the same. Our family: Not so much. For a superdad, there has been superhell. My, how the years had wreaked their havoc…
All the more reason why I wanted him to know—I needed him to know: This house was a place I learned to love. It was a plot of land upon which holy things happened. And he, like countless other single-for-a-time, or single-forever parents, had done the impossible. He had given me life; which is to say, so much more than a pulse.
You don’t make friends in the Church, when, as a pastor, you remind folks that Father’s Day is not in the Bible. But perhaps you are faithful when you say what you need to say, for no other reason than the fact that it comes up and out like the living water Jesus calls us to gush (Jn 7).
And so here it is: I love you. I’ve never thought another would do. You’re my Dad. I’m your daughter. Thanks be to God. I’ll see you soon.