The name of the author of this tribute to fathers is unknown, but that does nothing to diminish it's meaning.
________ began his early life fishing with his father. Making a living fishing is hard work, and I'm sure that this was a difficult, yet fulfilling time in his life. Christ's disciples, the Sons of Zebedee, were plucked from their father's fishing boat by our Lord. He must have seen their devotion to family and work.
Farm work was ____'s next enterprise;again, not an easy way to provide for a family, but an honest and fulfilling one.
And then he became a carpenter;we remember the most famous carpenter of all, the son of our Heavenly Father. _______ was not just a carpenter, but and artisan. He took pride in his work and the pieces that he produced.
But ________ was perhaps a bit unusual for fathers of his time; he enjoued his children for who they were and interacted with them more closely thank some fathers of his generation might have done. In fact, I believe that he was able to bring a sense of stability and love to a family that might well have suffered the pain of a fractured home if not for his efforts.
He was a whittler of great skill and enjoyed the artifacts which he crafted. The most surprising to me was the fiddle he made for himself because he really loved to make music and the only way he had to get an instrument was to construct it himself. He probably could have been a celebrated folk artist if he had so desired.
He also loved to sing and dance; he knew that there ws a time for these, as well as time for the hard work he knew so well. He had a great sense of fun, too. He had a dry sense of humour and an infectious smile.
He had to watch as four sons took off on their own, hoping that he had equipped them with the will and the skills to succeed with their own lives. He had to give away five daughters to men who were not good enough for them, but he got 52 grandchildren who are smarter than anyone's and 36 great grandchildren who had the privilege of having a living great grandfather - great in so may ways.
Yes, we can mourn the loss of such a father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend; but we can also take comfort in the fact that we had the chance to know and love such an exceptional man. Amen